Activities, Awards and Services
- The Advocate is the college's alumni/alumnae magazine and serves as the principal communication link between the law school and its graduates. Published twice a year, it informs both students and graduates about faculty research, student activities, and alumni/alumnae news events.
- The American University Law Review is a legal journal edited and published by law school students selected on the basis of scholarship. The students write comments and notes on legal developments and significant cases as well as critically evaluate and edit the lead articles and book reviews written for the Law Review.
- The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law is a legal journal edited and published by law students selected on the basis of scholarship. These students write comments and notes on legal developments and significant cases in gender and the law and policy as well as critically evaluate and edit lead articles and book reviews written for the journal.
- The American University International Law Review is a legal journal edited and published every other month by law students selected on the basis of scholarship. These students write comments and notes on legal developments and significant cases in international law and policy as well as critically evaluate and edit lead articles and essays written for the journal.
- The Administrative Law Review is a legal journal edited and published by law students selected on the basis of scholarship. Students write comments and notes on legal developments and significant cases in administrative law as well as critically evaluate and edit lead articles, essays, and book reviews written for the journal.
- The American Jurist is a student-published monthly newspaper that provides the law school community an open forum in which to discuss issues of contemporary, legal, social, or related interest.
- The Docket is the official newsletter of the law school. Published weekly, it is the document used for the announcement of all official events and deadlines and information regarding classes, financial aid, examinations, registration, and other matters of interest to the law school community. Students are responsible for all deadlines, notices, and matters of policy published in the Docket.
- The Human Rights Brief is an official publication of the law school's Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law that reports on substantive contemporary human rights and humanitarian law issues. Law students produce the three issues published each year.
- The Moot Court Board is the student-administered board that coordinates and organizes the intraschool and interschool student competitions in appellate advocacy, trial advocacy, and client counseling. Two intraschool moot court competitions are sponsored each year by the Moot Court Board. All first-year students are eligible to compete in the Alvina Reckman Myers First-Year Moot Court Competition, consisting of three rounds of oral argument. All students beyond their first year are invited to enter the Upper-Class Moot Court Competition, which involves both oral argument and the writing of an appellate brief. Interschool moot court competitions are administered by the board in a wide range of fields, including client counseling, labor law, tax law, energy law, administrative law, constitutional law, entertainment law, and many others. These competitions against teams from law schools around the country combine brief writing and oral argument skills.
- The Student Bar Association is the law student government and is responsible for budgeting student fees (subject to the dean's approval of the fee allocations) and coordination of all student-sponsored activities and organizations at the law school. In addition to sponsoring speakers and conducting social events, it represents students on the various faculty and student committees and serves as a clearinghouse for information on important social and economic concerns affecting students.
- Many other student organizations are recognized as part of the Student Bar Association. The groups active during the 2004-2005 academic year were the American Bar Association's Law Student Division, Asian Legal Society, Asian-Pacific Law Students Association, American Jurist, Black Law Students Association, Business Law Society, Christian Legal Society, Criminal Law Society, Environmental Law Society, Equal Justice Foundation, Federalist Society, Hispanic Law Students Association, Intellectual Property Law Society, International Law Society, Islamic Legal Forum, Jewish Law Students Association, Labor and Employment Law Society, Lambda Law Society, Law and Government Society, Law Revue, LINK, LLM Association, Moot Court Board, National Lawyers Guild, South Asian Law Students Association, and Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Descriptions of these organizations and their activities may be found on the Washington College of Law Web site at www.wcl.american.edu.
Awards and Prizes
- The Administrative Law Review Award is presented for the best student work published in the Administrative Law Review.
- The Ed Bou Award is awarded to the foreign-born student who has at-tained the highest scholastic average.
- The Casto-Southard Award in Constitutional Law, in memory of Don Monroe Casto and Thelma Casto Southard, is an annual award for the student or students who achieve the highest scholastic average in constitutional law courses.
- The Clair A. Cripe Award is presented to the graduating student who has been outstanding in correctional law.
- The Dean's Award for Professional Responsibility is awarded to the graduating student who has participated under the third-year practice rule in the clinical programs in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia and has exemplified proficiency in skills and the high ethical standards of the profession.
- The Energy and Natural Resource Law Fund Prize, encouraging excellence in the study of natural resource law, is awarded each semester to the top student or students in a course taught in that area of the law.
- The Gillett Prize is awarded to the student in the graduating class with the highest scholastic course average.
- The Human Rights Brief Award is presented for the best graduating student work published in the Human Rights Brief.
- The International Law Review Award is presented for the best student work published in the International Law Review.
- The Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law Award is awarded for the best student work published in the Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law.
- The Lura E. Turley Prize is awarded for the best student work published in the Law Review.
- The Mooers Trophy is awarded to outstanding students in Trial Practice.
- The Mussey Prize is presented to the student who has attained the highest scholastic average during the last year of study in both the full-time and part-time divisions.
- The Newman Prize for Trial Advocacy each year is awarded to the best student in criminal trial practice.
- The Outstanding Graduate Award is presented to JD and LLM graduates selected by the faculty.
- The Outstanding Research and Writing Award is presented to the LLM graduate in each program who has demonstrated outstanding ability in research and writing.
- The Solf Award is presented to the LLM graduate in international legal studies who has attained the highest scholastic average during his or her study at the Washington College of Law.
- The T. Morton McDonald Scholarship Award is presented to the graduating student who has excelled in the field of legal research.
- The Washington College of Law Alumni Award is presented to the graduating student who substantially contributed to student activities, as well as to the progress of the law school.
- The Willian Brinks Olds Hofer Gilson and Lione Award for Excellence in Intellectual Property Law is presented annually to a student or students in recognition of academic excellence in the areas of copyright, trademark, or patent law.
- Law School Career and Professional Development Office
The Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) provides comprehensive career search assistance for permanent, part-time, and summer employment. OCPD specializes in career counseling, individualized review and critique of resumes and cover letters, and employment strategy development.
The staff members of OCPD help students identify their interests, introduce them to the vast array of career development and employment opportunity resources, and assist with career decision making. The office offers programs, workshops, and lectures designed to provide information about various practice areas, interviewing techniques, net-working skills, and the realities of practice. Programs also are offered to give students insight into many traditional and nontraditional careers. The office maintains up-to-date listings of specific employment opportunities, as well as an extensive library of employer information resource materials.
The office coordinates two large-scale recruitment programs, one in the fall and the other in the spring. Fall recruitment attracts large employers, including larger law firms, government agencies, and prosecutor and public defender offices. Spring recruitment is a time for smaller law firms, government agencies, and public interest organizations to meet with students regarding summer positions and full-time graduate opportunities.
In addition, the office offers a six-session course specifically for first-year students, Professional Development. This course provides a comprehensive approach to legal career development, including resume preparation and job search strategies.
The Washington College of Law is a member of the National Association for Law Placement, the Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association, and the National Association for Public Interest Law.
Housing. Housing on the university's campus is generally restricted to undergraduate students and their resident advisors, although law students may apply for very limited on-campus housing as well as housing in the Glover-Tunlaw apartment complex. The university maintains information on non-university accommodations near campus. Listings can be accessed through the AU home page or at www.american.edu/other.depts/reslife/.
- Health Services
Health services are available at the Student Health Center in Nebraska Hall, across from main campus near the corner of Massachusetts and Nebraska Avenues. Students can obtain immunizations, be treated for acute illness or minor emergencies, receive gynecological care, or obtain a routine annual exam. For true medical emergencies, complex diagnostic procedures, or conditions that require treatment by a specialist, the center refers students to Sibley Memorial Hospital, 5255 Loughboro Road, NW, and to Suburban Hospital at 8600 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda. Free round trip transportation can be arranged through Public Safety. A health insurance plan, underwritten by Aetna Life Inc., is available to students to reduce the cost of medical treatment or hospitalization. For more information, call 202-885-3380 or check the Web site at www.american.edu/healthcenter.
Opportunities for recreational activity at the university encompass a broad range of spectator and participatory sports, theater, music, lectures, discussion groups, and the normal complement of student union facilities. Courses in dance, exercise, sports, etc., are available and may be taken for credit or audited by law students with the permission of the offering department. Full-time students are not charged additional tuition as long as the total of law and nonlaw course credits does not exceed 17 credit hours in a semester. Charges for part-time students, and for all students during the summer session, are levied on a per-credit-hour basis.
- Religious Groups
The Kay Spiritual Life Center, located on the north end of main campus, offers services to a rich array of faith communities and fosters a climate of interfaith understanding and cooperation. Chaplains from diverse faith traditions assist in organizing events and are available to students, faculty, and staff for programming, counseling, and advising on issues of faith and ethics. For more information, call 202-885-3321 or check the Web site at www.american.edu/oss/kay.
- Counseling Center
The Counseling Center, located in Mary Graydon Center 214, offers psychological counseling and support services for students at American University. Students are invited to make an appointment with a counselor, join a group, attend a workshop, get a referral to local mental health resources, use the self-help library, or seek additional information on the Web at www.american.edu/oss/counseling. All services are confidential and free of charge. For more information, please call 202-885-3500.
- Academic Support Center
The Academic Support Center, located in Mary Graydon Center 243, provides a range of learning services for students at American University. Students can make an appointment with a counselor, attend a workshop, or seek information on the Web at www.american.edu/oss/asc. This office also assists students with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder. All services are confidential and available to full-time or part-time students at WCL. For more information, please call 202-885-3360.