About the Washington College of Law

Warren BuildingAt the Washington College of Law, you meet the world where you will practice your profession. The world has become essentially borderless, where economic, political, and social changes require innovative legal analysis and solutions. The Washington College of Law (WCL) equips students in unique ways to navigate this new reality. A top law school that provides an excellent legal education in all areas of the law, WCL has renowned programs in experiential learning (clinics and externships), international law, law and government, intellectual property, business, and gender. These vital programs create an environment rich with opportunities for you.

Our location and diverse student body creates possibilities from the first day you step onto our campus. Washington, D.C. opens up unparalleled opportunities as the site of the branches of government, administrative agencies, international organizations, think-tanks, lobby groups, and numerous public interest and non-governmental organizations. You will find many WCL graduates serving in all of them. Our students take advantage of our extensive Supervised Externship Program and opportunities to participate in legal research and litigation. JD students may take upper-level courses with our LL.M. students, learning side by side with more than 180 practicing attorneys from around the world. You can participate in numerous student organizations and journals, such as the Business Law Brief and the Human Rights Brief; outreach groups such as the Marshall-Brennan Fellowship Program (where students teach constitutional law to local high school students); and a variety of other activities in business, human rights, gender, intellectual property and environmental law, to name a few. If your aspirations also involve fields outside the law, you can pursue dual joint degrees that we offer with three professional schools at American University-the School of International Service, Kogod School of Business, and the School of Public Affairs. From law and government to business, your opportunities here are endless.

We have made our curriculum qualitatively different. WCL cares about teaching. Numerous faculty members engage in projects to develop integrated teaching. This allows our students, from their first year of legal education, to understand the theoretical underpinnings of the law as well as how a particular client interest is affected by multiple fields of law using a joint syllabus so that students can see the transcurricular aspects of their education. We foster an atmosphere based on access to the faculty, commitment to your success, and motivation for the study of law and the practice of the profession that we have all chosen. In the first year, each section is kept small with usually fewer than 80 students, an extraordinary accomplishment for a school of our size. WCL's small classes, a curriculum that offers access to numerous fields of specialization, and sophisticated resources for technology and education ensures a first-rate educational experience.

Our students are qualitatively different, too. Many care passionately about important issues, from the state of public education to human rights, access to legal representation, gender and ethnicity, environmental challenges, labor issues, and the development of intellectual property and business law. Our students see themselves as scholars, exploring and publishing in every legal field, while others delve into opportunities for advocacy-working on our Innocence Project cases, filing Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs, and teaching constitutional law to area high school students. Experiential learning for everyone, through clinics or externships, gives you a taste of the practice of law, and demonstrates our commitment to the development of skills and values so crucial for the legal profession.

Learn a few facts about WCL or more about the history of WCL.