Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions

Can I schedule a visit to WCL?
Yes.  We look forward to meeting prospective and admitted students.  Program staff can schedule a time to meet you and answer questions about the program, offer a tour of the law school or discuss life in Washington DC.  We can also schedule a meeting with a faculty member in your field of specialization. 

What can I expect from life in DC?
Our location and diverse student body create possibilities from the first day you pass through our doors.  Washington DC is one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the world.  It is home to all three branches of government, all federal agencies including the Departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce, international organizations, multinational corporations, and litigation firms.  DC is centrally located to allow access to multiple jurisdictions in Maryland, Virginia and DC proper, each with its own legal community.

Where exactly is WCL located?
Washington College of Law is located at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016.  Directions to the law school can be found at WCL Map.

How can I contact the program?
The most direct way to contact us via email Advocacyllm@wcl.american.edu.

Can I do the program part-time?
Yes. However, F-1 or J-1 students must take a minimum of 8 credits per semester to fulfill their visa requirements. 

Do I have to stay a full or part-time student for the entirety of the program?
No.  Students often switch between full and part-time depending on work or personal life schedules.  Students are expected to be enrolled in consecutive semesters.  Approval for leave of absence must be obtained in advance from the Associate Director, Elizabeth Boals.  Failure to seek approval may result in dismissal from the Program.

Can I work during the LLM Program?
Yes.  Many students work during their LLM studies.  If you are working, you can enroll on a part-time basis in the program.  Some students find employment after they begin their studies in which case they simply switch to a part-time status.  Students attending the Program on a student visa must confirm their work eligibility with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) before accepting any positions and must maintain a minimum number of credit hours to comply with their visa requirements. 

Is student housing available to LLM students?
American University does not provide housing to any graduate students including law students.  Once admitted, WCL offers many resources in finding housing in the DC area including housing brochure, off campus housing postings and an admitted students housing discussion board to link up with other students to find roommates. 

How much does the program cost? 
Tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year is:
$24,331/per semester for 12-17 credits
$1,802/per credit for 11 or fewer credits

Program Requirements

How long will the program take to complete?
To obtain the LLM degree you must successfully complete 24 credits.  Students who attend the program full time complete the degree in one academic year or two semesters.  Students who attend as part-time students will take longer to complete the program, generally 2 years.  Foreign nationals studying on an F-1 or J-1 student visas are given up to 16 months (or three regular academic semesters) to complete the program.  This breaks down to a minimum of 8 credits per semester (this minimum is a requirements for VISA purposes). 

Do you have areas of concentration/specialization?
The Advocacy LLM offers formal specialization in either Criminal or Civil Trial Advocacy.  However, there is flexibility within the courses you complete in the program.  LLM students can choose from 14 core courses and over 40 litigation related courses.  The only required courses are Ethics for Trial Lawyers (2 credits) and an Advanced Trial Advocacy course.  The remaining credits can be tailored to the students’ interests and career goals.   For more information, please visit http://www.wcl.american.edu/trial/llm/courses.cfm

Does the program include any experiential learning?
All of our core advocacy courses are taught in a learning by doing format.  Students learn through lectures, demonstrations, in-class simulations, and critiques.  We also encourage students to consider internships in and around the Washington D.C., metro area.  For more information on opportunities offered, please contact Tahniat Saulat at 202-274-4474 or email advocacyllm@wcl.american.edu You can also contact our Externship office at http://www.wcl.american.edu/externship/hours.cfm

Can I transfer credits from courses I took at other Universities? 
The LLM programs cannot accept any transfer credits from other institutions.  All credits towards the LLM must be earned at Washington College of Law, American University. 

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

What are the admission requirements?
We require you to submit:

  • A completed application form
  • Official transcripts from your law school
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • $55.00 application fee
  • Official Proof of Competency in English (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE) for non-native English speakers

Is there an application deadline?
We accept applications on a rolling basis.  Domestic students can apply by July 1st for the Fall semester and November 1st for the Spring semester.

What are the language requirements for international students? 
Applicants whose first language is not English, must take one of the three tests:  1) TOEFL; 2) IELTS; 3) Pearson exam.  It is not necessary to take all three.  Applications will not be considered complete until the program receives exam scores.  This requirement is waived only for applicants from the following countries:  Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand.

How long does it take to get a decision on my application? 
Once all the documents have been received, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.  Decisions typically take between two and four weeks after the application is complete. 

What Financial Aid is available? 
The Advocacy Program offers a limited number of scholarships based on financial need and academic merit.  For more information on these scholarships, please contact Tahniat Saulat at advocacyllm@wcl.american.edu.  The Washington College of Law’s Financial Aid Office assists qualifying students in obtaining US Federal and private loans. They can be reached at 202-274-4040 Students may also apply for Dean’s Fellowships.  These research assistant positions are for 10 hours per week and pays an hourly wage.  Information on applying for these positions is available on our website.  Students attending the program on a visa must confirm their work eligibility with ISSS before accepting any positions.