The Evening Division of the Washington College of Law (WCL) allows you to earn the Juris Doctor (JD) degree in four years of part time study. This division is particularly appropriate when professional, financial, and other considerations preclude the day long attention to classes required of students enrolled full time. All courses in this division are offered Monday through Thursday evenings.
- Tuition & Fees
- Normal Course Load
- Required Course Schedule
- Transfer of Division
- Transportation & Parking
- Financial Aid
- Other Financial Resources
Normal Course Load
The first year of the program consists of required courses. They meet Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to approximately 8 p.m. On one of these evenings, you stay an additional two hours for Legal Rhetoric: Writing and Research. You continue taking required courses during the second year, although you may also begin enrolling in elective courses. Eighty six credits are required for graduation, and part time students normally enroll for eight to eleven hours each semester. In addition, you must enroll in at least one nine week summer session if you wish to complete the program in four years.
Required Course Schedule
Full time members of the faculty teach the required courses in the part time program. This ensures consistency in the educational process and makes it easy for you to meet with faculty individually. The first year Legal Rhetoric: Writing and Research course is taught either by a full-time legal writing instructor or an adjunct faculty member, who is a practicing attorney. Many seminars are taught by specialists from private practice and government. Full time faculty teach the more traditional elective courses.
Transfer of Division
If you wish to accelerate the program to graduate in fewer than four years, you may transfer to full time status during the fall semester of the second year. This action requires the written permission of the dean of students and is only approved with the understanding that you complete the second year required courses in the evening section. However, you are permitted to enroll in elective courses such that the total number of enrolled hours is at least twelve, which is the minimum for full time status. To graduate within three years, you must complete two summer sessions. Summer classes are offered during the evening only. You may also opt to participate in a summer study abroad program. Any student contemplating such changes in division must conform with ABA and Washington College of Law residency requirements as set out in a special policy statement available from the dean of students.
To meet the needs of its large and diverse student population, the university and WCL maintains evening hours for many of its offices. The Registrar's Office and the Financial Aid Office remain open in the evening one night per week to accommodate part-time students. Evening office hours are also available by arrangement with the associate dean for student affairs. The Office of Career & Professional Development is open late during the week and on Saturdays during the semester. The Pence Law Library is open until 11:45 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 9:45 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The Pence Law Library is open for extended hours during examination periods. The WCL dining facility serves dinner Monday-Thursday and lounge areas are always open for students to relax, eat, or meet classmates.
Part time students have access to the full range of student activities at the law school. Part time representatives are appointed to the Student Bar Association. They are also involved in other areas of academic and extracurricular life, as participants in moot court competitions, as staff members on the various scholarly publications, and as members of the Student Bar Association and faculty/student committees.
Transportation & Parking
The Washington College of Law is located on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 48th Street, NW, in one of the city's loveliest residential neighborhoods. The closest Metro stations to the law school are AU/Tenleytown and Friendship Heights on the Red Line. American University provides free shuttle service from the AU/Tenleytown station to main campus and a WCL shuttle that travels directly from the Tenleytown station to the law school. Several city bus lines run along Massachusetts Avenue and stop in front of the law school. Parking is available for first year part-time students in American University's Nebraska Commuter lot. A shuttle bus transports students from this parking lot to the law school every 15 minutes. Upper-level students may park in the law school garage. Law students may not park in the neighborhood surrounding the law school.
Part-time students may borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. The Stafford loan program provides long-term, low interest loans up to a maximum of $20,500 in combined subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Repayment begins six months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. The interest rate for Direct Stafford loans is fixed at 6.8%.To apply for a Stafford loan you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line at www.fafsa.edu.gov. Supplemental funding, up to the cost of attendance, is available if needed through the federal Grad PLUS program. Application is filed at www.studentloans.gov.
Application deadlines are established to ensure timely processing of loans requests. Contact the financial aid office for detailed processing information.
Information about restricted scholarships is publicized during the academic year. Research assistantships (the Dean's Fellow Program) which carry a partial tuition remission are also available to part-time students.
Other Financial Resources
Many employers pay part or all of an employee's tuition and related educational expenses, particularly if the proposed course of study enhances the employee's ability to perform the employer's business. You should check with your personnel or benefits office, and if your company has such educational benefits, you can arrange "contract" billing through the university's Office of Student Accounts.
American University offers educational benefits for all of its full time employees and their spouses. These benefits, which cover between eighteen and twenty four hours of remitted tuition per academic year, have enabled a number of university employees to earn their law degrees. For further information, contact the university's Human Resources Development office.