Areas of Study

Descriptions of the LL.M. Areas of Study.

The Master of Laws in Advocacy (Advocacy LL.M. Program) at American University Washington College of Law, administered by the law school's Stephen S. Weinstein Trial Advocacy Program, combines a rigorous academic component and a breadth of practical litigation training. The Program offers an array of courses, externships, and opportunities to pursue legal scholarship and gain teaching experience. The Advocacy LL.M. Program focuses on the use of modern technology in litigation and the training of ethical trial lawyers. The Program's innovative curriculum will aid graduates in preparation for all aspects of litigation.

Sample Courses: Evidentiary Foundations and Objections, Externship at the Public Defender's Office, Special Witnesses and Victims' Rights

Featured Professors: Judge Carlos Acosta, Peter Odom, Megan Whiteside

The American University Washington College of Law offers a number of domestic and international environmental law courses taught by faculty who are leaders in the environmental legal community. Students engage with environmental and energy law through classes, research projects, conferences, and student organizations. Students also benefit from numerous externship and summer job opportunities in DC's wide array of government agencies, advocacy organizations, and private sector firms.

Students interested in U.S. environmental law can specialize by enrolling in the LL.M. in the Program on Law & Government. Students who would like to pursue international environmental law should enroll in the International Legal Studies LL.M. Program.

Sample Courses: International Environmental Law, Comparative Environmental Law, Human Rights and the Environment, Trade and the Environment, Climate Change Law

Featured Professors: Amanda Leiter, William Snape, David Hunter

The professors at the American University Washington College of Law integrate gender into the law school classroom, asking the hard questions about how law and legal categories enable and constrain people on the basis of their sex, gender, sexuality, or identity. Students can specialize in Gender and the Law through both the International Legal Studies LL.M. Program (for students interested in international law) and the LL.M. in the Program on Law & Government (for students interested in US law).   The Gender and the Law faculty work together with the students to create a world in which all people live free from gender-based oppression and violence.

Sample Courses: Gender and International Comparative Law; Gender, Cultural Differences, and International Human Rights, Prevention of Human Trafficking; Responses of International Law to Conflict-Based Sexual and Gender Violence

Featured Professors: Janie Chuang, Susana SáCouto

Through outreach, training, conferences, career events, and advising, the Health Law and Policy Program ensures that AUWCL students specializing in health law as part of the LL.M. in the Program on Law & Government graduate practice-ready and connected to opportunities. Our students benefit from a depth of health law course offerings and opportunities that few law schools are able to match, including in health care financing and delivery, food and drug law, health care privacy and data security, health care fraud and abuse, medical malpractice, bioethics, public health law, and global health law. LL.M. students specializing in Health Law also receive support from faculty members of the Health Law and Policy Program.

Sample Courses: Food & Drug Law, Public Health Law & Policy

Featured Professors: Lindsay Wiley, Asha Scielzo

American University offers two different human rights tracks - The hybrid LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the in-residence Human Rights Specialization in the International Legal Studies Program.  Both programs address the need for specialized training in international human rights law in the United States and around the world. The hybrid program, with both on-site (residential) and online components allows for a high-quality curriculum with a flexible and convenient format.  Students in both programs interact with over 40 world-renowned experts, including human rights and humanitarian law experts coming from academia, international tribunals, civil society organizations, and international organizations.

Sample Courses: International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, Advanced Human Rights

Featured Professors: Claudio Grossman, Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón, Claudia Martin

Este programa reconoce la naturaleza del derecho internacional de los derechos humanos como un campo multicultural y multilingüe en el cual defensores de derechos humanos, abogados y representantes de gobierno debaten y dan forma a los nuevos estándares de dignidad humana que todos los Estados de la comunidad internacional deben respetar. El LL.M. en Derechos Humanos y Derecho Humanitario administrado enteramente en español inequívocamente aborda la necesidad de una formación especializada en el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos en los Estados Unidos y en el mundo entero.

Ejemplo Cursos: Estudios Fundamentales de Derechos Humanos y Derecho Humanitario, Estudios Avanzados de Derechos Humanos

Profesores Especial: Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón, Claudia Martin

The Immigration Law & Policy specialization, offered through the LL.M. in the Program on Law & Government, prepares students to join the Immigration law field.  Immigration law is growing in importance, given the large numbers of noncitizens in the U.S., the prominence of immigration-related issues in policy spheres, the nexus between immigration law and national security, and the intersections between immigration law and other practice areas.  Our graduates find themselves in a broad range of positions, across the non-profit, private, and government sectors.  

Sample Courses: Asylum & Refugee Law, Immigration Issues: Family & Employment

Featured Professors: Amanda Frost, Jayesh Rathod

The Master of Laws in Intellectual Property Law (IP LL.M.) at American University Washington College of Law is offered through one of the world’s leading centers for the study of intellectual property and information law, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP).

AUWCL’s intellectual property curriculum is one of the largest in the country – with over 30 intellectual property and related courses. Classes are offered day and night, all year long – giving students the flexibility to tailor their schedule to other commitments. 

Students are connected to federal agencies and top IP employers by studying in Washington, DC and having access to one of the largest alumni networks of IP practitioners in the world. Over 100 government and nonprofit intellectual property, communications and sports law offices or organizations participate in AUWCL’s acclaimed externship program, including the Patent and Trademark Office, Copyright Office, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and numerous industry associations and non-governmental organizations.

Sample Courses: Copyright Law, Communications Law and Information Policy, Law of Professional Sports, Patent Law, Patent Litigation, Trademark Law

Featured Professors: Sean Flynn, Michael Carroll, Jonas Anderson, Christine Farley

With over 150 different course offerings in business law and related fields, covering topics such as International Investment Law, International Contracts and Sales, U.S. Business Law, and Corporate Finance, the curriculum aims to offer every course relevant to practicing business law in the twenty-first century. Experiential classes such as International Business Negotiations and externships give students what they need to develop and mature as lawyers.

Students interested in international business law should enroll in the International Legal Studies LL.M. Program, International Business Specialization.

Sample Courses: International Business Negotiations, International Contracts and Sales, International Business Transactions

Featured Professors: David Snyder, Ken Anderson, Diane Orentlicher

The specialization in International Commercial Arbitration is designed to educate and train students in the theory and practice of international commercial and investment arbitration by focusing on procedural and substantive law issues.

Students will acquire working knowledge of the legal principles and practical implications underlying international commercial arbitration and international investment arbitration. Students will learn to negotiate and draft: arbitration clauses, claims, and responses. They will also learn strategies to perform in arbitration hearings, and key aspects of the enforcement of arbitral awards.

Students interested in International Commercial Arbitration should enroll in the International Legal Studies LL.M. Program, International Commercial Arbitration Specialization.

Sample Courses: International Commercial Arbitration, Bilateral Investment Treaty Arbitration, Advocacy in International Commercial Arbitration

Featured Professors: Horacio Grigera Naon, Claudia Frutos Peterson, Charles Kotuby

As one of the leading international law LL.M. programs in the United States, the International Legal Studies Program offers a number of specializations including international business law, international trade and investment, international commercial arbitration, international human rights, gender and international law, international environmental law, and international organizations.   The program incorporates a rich array of international law courses and seminars, experiential learning opportunities, and special events which promote interaction with international attorneys, diplomats, business leaders, and policymakers. Our distinguished faculty and administration have established strong ties to various international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations in the Washington metropolitan area and abroad.

Sample Courses: International Law, Comparative Law, Legal Research and Writing

Featured Professors: David Hunter, Padideh Ala'i, Robert Goldman

The Trade and Investment specialization in the International Legal Studies LL.M. Program, focuses on international and U.S. trade law and international investment law. Students completing this specialization study with renowned professors and are guided by a diverse pool of practitioners in the D.C. legal community. 

Our trade law curriculum covers the law of World Trade Organization (WTO), WTO dispute settlement, regional trading arrangements, U.S. trade regime and in-depth review of U.S. trade remedies law, and U.S. export controls and sanctions regime. We also offer courses that address the linkage of trade to other areas such as labor, human rights, environment and intellectual property. 

Our investment law curriculum includes, among others, core courses in international investment law, investment treaty arbitration, international commercial arbitration, international alternative dispute resolution, and international business transactions.

Our students benefit from the D.C. location where they have access to the workings of the Department of Commerce, International Trade Commission, the United States Trade Representative, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the World Bank, the IMF, and many other international organizations. D.C. also has a strong practitioner base where students can network for future jobs or professional opportunities. 

Sample Courses: International Trade Law I, Trade and Diplomacy, International Investment Law

Featured Professors: Padideh Ala'i, Susan Franck, Matthew Nicely

In the heart of Washington DC, the LL.M. in the Program on Law & Government offers a number of specializations that are at the intersection of law and politics:  Health Law & Policy, Immigration Law & Policy, National Security Law & Policy, Criminal Law, and Law, Politics, & Legislation.  Through a broad-based examination of public law in the United States, the students are prepared for careers in public service, law, and domestic policy.

Sample Courses: Washington Lawyer, Administrative Law, American Legal Institutions

Featured Professors: Jeffrey Lubbers, Stephen WermielFernando Laguarda

The Law, Politics & Legislation specialization, offered through the LL.M. Program on Law & Government, prepares students to join a practice field that empowers them to make change through the legislative and political process.  This specialization explores the constantly evolving internal and external pressures that form public policy, while preparing students with a practical set of legal skills that will allow them to use their degree to effect change as public advocates.  Our graduates find themselves working throughout the political realm, whether in a legislative office or on a committee staff on Capitol Hill, in an executive agency, or for nonprofit and lobbying advocacy groups.

Sample Courses: Legislation, Legislative Lawyering, Washington Lawyer

Featured Professors: Fernando Laguarda, Jeffrey Lubbers