The Evening Program of the Washington College of Law (WCL) allows you to earn the Juris Doctor (JD) degree in four years of part time study. This division is particularly appropriate when professional, financial, and other considerations preclude the day long attention to classes required of students enrolled full time. All courses in this division are offered Monday through Thursday evenings.
- Tuition & Fees
- Normal Course Load
- Required Course Schedule
- Transfer of to Full-time Status
- Transportation & Parking
- Financial Aid
- Other Financial Resources
Normal Course Load
The first year of the program consists of required courses. They meet Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to approximately 8 p.m. On one of these evenings, you stay an additional two hours for Legal Rhetoric: Writing and Research. You continue taking required courses during the second year, although you may also begin enrolling in elective courses. Eighty six credits are required for graduation, and part time students normally enroll for eight to eleven hours each semester. In addition, you must enroll in at least one nine week summer session if you wish to complete the program in four years.
Required Course Schedule
Full time members of the faculty teach the required courses in the part time program. This ensures consistency in the educational process and makes it easy for you to meet with faculty individually. The first year Legal Rhetoric: Writing and Research course is taught either by a full-time legal writing instructor or an adjunct faculty member, who is a practicing attorney. Many seminars are taught by specialists from private practice and government. Full time faculty teach the more traditional elective courses.
Transfer to Full-time Status
If you wish to accelerate the program to graduate in fewer than four years, you may transfer to full time status during the fall semester of the second year. This action requires the written permission of the dean of students and is only approved with the understanding that you complete the second year required courses in the evening section. However, you are permitted to enroll in elective courses such that the total number of enrolled hours is at least twelve, which is the minimum for full time status. To graduate within three years, you must complete two summer sessions. Summer classes are offered during the evening only. You may also opt to participate in a summer study abroad program. Any student contemplating such changes in division must conform with ABA and Washington College of Law residency requirements as set out in a special policy statement available from the dean of students.
To meet the needs of its large and diverse student population, the university and WCL maintains evening hours for many of its offices. The Registrar's Office and the Financial Aid Office remain open in the evening one night per week to accommodate part-time students. Evening office hours are also available by arrangement with the associate dean for student affairs. The Office of Career & Professional Development is open late during the week and on Saturdays during the semester. The Pence Law Library is open until 11:45 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 9:45 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The Pence Law Library is open for extended hours during examination periods. The WCL dining facility serves dinner Monday-Thursday and lounge areas are always open for students to relax, eat, or meet classmates.
Part time students have access to the full range of student activities at the law school. Part time representatives are appointed to the Student Bar Association. They are also involved in other areas of academic and extracurricular life, as participants in moot court competitions, as staff members on the various scholarly publications, and as members of the Student Bar Association and faculty/student committees.
Transportation & Parking
The Washington College of Law's Tenley Campus is located just one block south of the the AU/Tenleytown Metro Station (Red Line) and within 1 block of multiple bus routes traveling from downtown DC, Brookland, Columbia Heights and the DC/MD border. There is also underground parking available in the law school garage. Part-time students can purchase a parking permit for a pro-rated amount compared to full-time students or can pay by the hour.
Part-time students are considered for merit-based scholarships during the admissions process and awards range up to full-tuition. Merit-based scholarship awards are based on UGPA and LSAT scores.
Part-time students may borrow through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. The Stafford loan program provides long-term, low interest loans up to a maximum of $20,500 in combined subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Repayment begins six months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment. Please view this financial aid page for the current interest rate.To apply for a Stafford loan you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line at www.fafsa.edu.gov. Supplemental funding, up to the cost of attendance, is available if needed through the federal Grad PLUS program. Application is filed at www.studentloans.gov.
Application deadlines are established to ensure timely processing of loans requests. Contact the financial aid office for detailed processing information.
Information about restricted scholarships is publicized during the academic year. Research assistantships (the Dean's Fellow Program) which carry a partial tuition remission are also available to part-time students.
Other Financial Resources
Many employers pay part or all of an employee's tuition and related educational expenses, particularly if the proposed course of study enhances the employee's ability to perform the employer's business. You should check with your personnel or benefits office, and if your company has such educational benefits, you can arrange "contract" billing through the university's Office of Student Accounts.
American University offers educational benefits for all of its full time employees and their spouses. These benefits, which cover between eighteen and twenty four hours of remitted tuition per academic year, have enabled a number of university employees to earn their law degrees. For further information, contact the university's Human Resources Development office.