Academic Programs

The Washington College of Law offers the juris doctor (JD), the master of laws (LLM) in international legal studies, the master of laws (LLM) in law and government, the doctor of juridical science (SJD), and dual degree programs in law and international affairs (JD/MA), law and busi-ness (JD/MBA), law and justice (JD/MS), law and public administration (JD/MPA), law and public policy (JD/MPP), master of laws and business (LLM/MBA), master of laws and public administration (LLM/MPA), and master of laws and public policy (LLM/MPP).

Juris Doctor

This academic program stresses the traditional rigor of the Socratic method and the development of critical analysis skills. After the required first-year curriculum, in the second and third years the student elects a course of study best suited to individual needs and interests, culminating in advanced courses, seminars, independent research, clinical programs, and fieldwork in private and government institutions in the Washington area.

Clinical Programs

The clinical program provides an intensive, closely supervised educa-tional experience in which second-year and third-year students func-tion as lawyers, taking full responsibility for litigated and transactional matters under the -tutelage of faculty members.

The clinics are designed to provide for each student a laboratory within which to learn such lawyering skills as client interviewing and counseling, factual development, case theory development, case prepara-tion, witness preparation, the proof of facts, the application of the rules of evidence, oral argument, strategic planning, drafting of litigational and transactional documents, and negotiation. In addition, the clinics' law offices are ideal environments in which to begin to understand the de-mands of professional responsibility, to grapple with the difficult emo-tional issues raised by those demands, and to explore the relationships among theory, doctrine, and practice.

The clinical method attempts to teach the student through individual tutorials, simulations, classroom discussions, and critiques of both ac-tual courtroom performance and videotaped simulated exercises. By this process students gain an understanding of the criteria by which one judges success as a lawyer and a basis for evaluating one's own work in the context of those criteria.

Clinics generally are oversubscribed. Admission to the clinics is a competitive process and is based, among other things, on an application filed and interview held in the spring semester prior to the year the student seeks to par-t-ici-pate in clinic. The clinical faculty take a variety of factors into account in making clinical selections. For more specific information about the selection process, consult the clinical program brochure. Application forms, as well as information on prerequisites, credits, and expenses, are available from the WCL clinic office, room 417. A meeting is held each spring to describe the clinical program to upper-level students. Second-year students are eligible for the Community and Economic Development Law Clinic, Disability Rights Clinic, General Practice Clinic, Intellectual Property Clinic, and International Human Rights Clinic, while the other clinics are open only to third-year students due to the requirements of student practice rules, which authorize the supervised representation of clients by students. Course descriptions of the various clinics can be found on pp. 106-108.

Field Components

The law school, drawing on administrative agencies in Washington, D.C., provides field components in the areas of securities regulation and commodities regulation. Field components usually are taken simultaneously with a regular course offering in the area, and placements in agencies are arranged by individual professors. See pp. 108-109.

The Independent Study Program

This program enables a student to earn academic credit for directed research performed under a contract between the student and a member of the faculty upon approval of the dean. See pp. 110-111.

The Externship Program

The law school's Supervised Externship Program allows students to learn about the legal profession through law-related fieldwork and, at the same time, to develop their reflective learning skills under close faculty supervision. Students are placed in government agencies and nonprofit organizations, where they work under the supervision of a practicing attorney. In tandem with the field placement, students meet weekly in a seminar led by a faculty member. The seminar draws on the placement work and assists students in reflecting on the work of the lawyer and on their own professional goals. Students also meet frequently in small groups or individually with the faculty member to discuss the progress of the externship. In some cases, students may participate in independent tutorial externships, which must be arranged with and supervised by a faculty sponsor. See pp. 109-110.

Master of Laws (LLM)

The law school offers three master of laws (LLM) degree programs. The LLM in international legal studies has specializations in NAFTA and other regional trade agreements, international trade and banking, intellectual property, international environmental law, international organizations, gender and the law, and international protection of human rights. This program enables graduate students from U.S. and foreign law schools to engage in advanced research and to specialize in the above-mentioned areas through academic study and practical experience with international financial institutions and organizations, as well as with U.S. government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, -private businesses, and law firms. The program has been specifically tailored to enable LLM students to take maximum advantage of the unique resources, such as international organizations, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and research facilities, that are available in Washington, D.C.

For additional information, contact Professor David Hunter, director of the International Legal Studies Program, American University, Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 340, Washington, DC 20016-8189.

The law school also offers the LLM in law and government, with concentrations in administrative law and regulatory practice (with further specializations in communications law and policy, environmental law and policy, health law and policy, immigration law and policy, intellectual property law and information policy, and labor and employment law and policy), business and financial regulation (further specializations in antitrust law and policy, securities law and policy, tax law and policy, and trade law and policy), and civil and constitutional rights (further specializations in criminal law, and gender and the law). The program has been tailored to take advantage of the law school's location in the nation's capital. For further information, contact Professor Jamin Raskin, director of the LLM Program on Law and Government, American University, Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016-8181.

The Stephen S. Weinstein Trial Advocacy Program offers a Master of Laws, LL.M. in Advocacy (Advocacy LL.M. Program). The Advocacy LL.M. Program provides opportunities for law graduates to enhance their legal advocacy skills in and out of the courtroom. The program combines a rigorous academic component and a breadth of practical litigation training, including optional credits from writing projects, teaching opportunities, and practical exposure through externships. For more information, please visit the Advocacy LL.M. website.

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

The SJD program admits selected outstanding students to pursue doctoral level studies in the law. Students usually enter the SJD program after completing the LLM degree. Some students may be required to complete some course work. All those who are admitted to the program must complete a dissertation, an original and substantial treatment of a chosen topic. This dissertation, written under the primary supervision of a dissertation advisor, is expected to be 150-300 pages long and should embody scholarship of publishable quality. For additional information, contact Professor Anthony E. Varona, American University, Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 515, Washington, DC 20016-8189.

Dual Degree Programs

The law school, in cooperation with American University's Kogod School of Business, School of International Service, Department of Justice, Law and Society, and School of Public Affairs, offers five dual degree programs for JD students and three such programs for LLM students. Students may begin work toward the MA, MS, MBA, MPP, or MPA during their second year of study and continue throughout their time at the law school; however, they must register for one semester of study toward the nonlaw degree after completing the JD program. LLM students may apply for admission to the MBA program at the Kogod School of Business and may apply for admission to the MPA or the MPP program at the School of Public Affairs.

Law and International Affairs: JD/MA

The dual degree program in law and international affairs is designed to provide lawyers interested in international transactions in the public or private sector with background in international politics and economics and, if the student so chooses, with expertise in particular regions, international communications, or international development management that is germane to international practice. The program is well suited for a lawyer or a law-trained administrator in government service whose work is transnational in nature. It also provides a perspective that is broader than that given by legal doctrine to supplement the commercial and business legal knowledge of the lawyer with a private international law practice.

Application. To apply for the dual degree program, the GRE need not be taken; however, all applicants must take the LSAT. For entering law students, applications for this program are first reviewed and acted upon by the law school. Upon admission to the law school, the application is forwarded directly to the School of International Service for that school's review and decision. Continuing law students may apply after the first year of law school.

Law and Business: JD/MBA

The Washington College of Law and American University's Kogod School of Business offer a four-year JD/MBA dual degree program.

Application. Candidates for the dual degree program in law and business administration must meet all standard law school admission re-quirements and qualify for admission to the MBA program.

Law and Business: LLM/MBA

The Washington College of Law and the Kogod School of Business offer a dual LLM/MBA program.

Application. Candidates for the LLM/MBA dual degree program must qualify for admission to the law school and business school programs.

Law and Justice: JD/MS

The law and justice program is designed to enhance the student's general legal education with intensive study in the following areas of concentration: philosophical and moral foundations of justice systems; nature and causes of crime and conflict; analysis of the actual operations of the criminal, juvenile, civil, and military justice systems and their impact on society; the functioning of legislative and regulatory agencies; the broad range of informal mechanisms for dealing with crime, conflict, and injustice in society; theories of planning and management for courts and correctional institutions; and strategies for introducing constructive change in justice systems. The program enables students to complete the JD and MS degrees in four years.

Application. Students may apply to the law and justice program after completing one year of law study. LSAT scores are accepted in place of GRE aptitude scores, and application materials submitted to the Washington College of Law are reviewed for admission by the Department of Justice, Law and Society after the candidate has been admitted by the law school.

Law and Public Administration: JD/MPA

The dual degree program in law and public administration is designed for students interested in examining the integral relationship of law to public administration and management. The program is especially attractive to students who may seek to use their law degrees in the political, governmental, and not-for-profit realms. This dual degree program provides a broad theoretical grounding in public administration and management as well as a practical education in the analysis and implementation of policy and laws at all levels of government.

Application. Candidates for the dual degree program must qualify for admission to the law school and the School of Public Affairs. The School of Public Affairs accepts LSAT scores in place of the GRE scores normally required for admission. For entering law students, applications for this program are first reviewed and acted upon by the law school. Upon admission to the law school, the application is forwarded directly to the School of Public Affairs for that school's review and decision. Currently enrolled law students may apply during their studies at the law school.

Law and Public Policy: JD/MPP

The dual degree program in law and public policy is designed for students interested in examining the integral relationship of law to public policy. The program is especially attractive to students who may seek to use their law degrees in the political, governmental, and not-for-profit realms. This dual degree program provides a broad theoretical grounding in policy analysis, program evaluation, and successful policy implementation and provides students with the necessary skills to creatively address the political, financial, organizational, legal, ethical, and constitutional challenges inherent in developing and delivering sound public policies.

Application. Candidates for the dual degree program must qualify for admission to the law school and the School of Public Affairs. The School of Public Affairs accepts LSAT scores in place of the GRE scores normally required for admission. For entering law students, applications for this program are first reviewed and acted upon by the law school. Upon ad-mission to the law school, the application is forwarded directly to the School of Public Affairs for that school's review and decision. Currently enrolled law students may apply during their studies at the law school.

Master of Laws and Public Administration: LLM/MPA

The dual degree program in law and public administration is designed for students interested in examining the integral relationship of law to public administration and management. The program is especially at-tractive to attorneys who seek to practice and innovate in the political, governmental, and not-for-profit realms. This dual degree program pro-vides a broad theoretical grounding in public administration and man-agement as well as a practical education in the analysis and implemen-tation of policy and laws at all levels of government.

Application. Candidates for the dual degree program must qualify for admission to the LLM and MPA programs. The School of Public Affairs accepts LSAT scores in place of the GRE scores normally required for admission. For entering LLM students, applications for this program are first reviewed and acted upon by the law school. Upon admission to the law school, the application is forwarded directly to the School of Public Affairs for that school's review and decision. Currently enrolled LLM stu-dents may apply during their studies at the law school.

Master of Laws and Public Policy: LLM/MPP

The dual degree program in law and public policy is designed for students interested in examining the integral relationship of law to public policy. The program is especially attractive to attorneys who seek to practice in the political, governmental, and not-for-profit realms. This dual degree program provides a broad theoretical grounding in policy analysis, program evaluation, and successful policy implementation and provides attorneys with the necessary skills to creatively address the political, financial, organizational, legal, ethical, and constitutional challenges inherent in developing and delivering sound public policies.

Application. Candidates for the dual degree program must qualify for admission to the LLM and MPP programs. The School of Public Affairs accepts LSAT scores in place of the GRE scores normally required for admission. For entering LLM students, applications for this program are first reviewed and acted upon by the law school. Upon admission to the law school, the application is forwarded directly to the School of Public Affairs for that school's review and decision. Currently enrolled LLM students may apply during their studies at the law school.