Welcome Information

Welcome to the Environmental Law Summer Session at American University Washington College of Law (WCL)!

Below is information that you may find useful when planning your trip to and stay in Washington, DC during the 2015 Environmental Law Summer Session. There is information about how to get to the law school, class materials, technological facilities, and other information that may be useful. More detailed information can be found in the Welcome Guide. This website will be updated as the summer session approaches.

Summer Program Office

The 2015 Summer Program Office is located in Room 336. Erika Lennon, who can answer all of the questions you may have about the Summer Session and all things related to it, can be found there or by email: elennon@wcl.american.edu or by phone: 202-656-1267.

Seminar Materials

Seminar materials will be available online through MyWCL. To save paper and trees, seminar materials for the Environmental Law Summer Session are not going to be printed out. All materials will be posted online or emailed to you. Alternatively, you can bring a flash drive and we can put materials on it. If this is a problem or if you have questions about seminar materials, please send an email to summerenvironment@wcl.american.edu.

Non-WCL Students can email Erika for their seminar materials or come to see her in the Environmental Law Summer Session Office.


The Washington College of Law is located at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. This is in the upper northwest section of Washington, D.C. Also, please note that this is about five city blocks west from the main American University campus (straight down Massachusetts Avenue).

The following are useful Maps of the WCL area:

Washington College of Law's location in Washington, DC
Washington College of Law neighborhood
American University Main Campus
Centennial Dormitory at Main Campus
Shuttle Stop location at Tenleytown Metro
Washington, DC

The Metro System

The DC Metro system is very clean and efficient. Additionally, the Metro employees are used to helping Washington visitors. Metro's website www.wmata.com is very useful, and has bus and train schedules, bus and train route maps, hours of operation, information about the next metro arrival at each station, etc.

WCL and American University are located in Tenleytown and the closest Metro stop is Tenleytown/AU (also called Tenley Circle) on the Red Line. (There is a WCL shuttle that you can take from the metro station, see below for detailed instructions). Also, Public Metro buses run on regular schedules from Tenley Circle to WCL. From the exit marked Tenleytown/AU, continue on foot past the Sears Home Appliance Showroom on your left.  Past the Sears store you will come to a Metro bus stop, next to the AU bus stop. Take the N8 bus marked Wesley Heights which will take you directly to the WCL, at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue. Travel time is approximately 10 minutes. Buses depart from the stop every 20 minutes in the morning until 10:00 a.m. Thereafter, the bus departs every 30 minutes. For return trips, you may access the bus from the bus stop across the street from WCL.

Regular Metrorail fare during peak periods (weekdays: opening to 9:30 am and 3-7pm; weekends: 2 am-closing) is between $2.10 and $5.75.  Reduced fares are in place at all other times and are between $1.70 and $3.50. Additionally, there is now a paper farecard surcharge of $1.00.  Farecard machines are located in every station and small bills are recommended.  There are no change machines in stations and farecard machines provide only up to $5 in change (in coins). You may purchase a SmarTrip card for reduced rates and easy reloading.  SmarTrip cards are $5.00 and can be purchased online at www.wmata.com and come with $25 loaded for travel, or may be purchased in several Metro stations and may be reloaded at any metro stop. Having a SmarTrip card will mean that you do not have to pay the $1.00 paper farecard surcharge for every trip you take, thus saving you money.

Metrobus fares are $1.80 for regular buses and $4.00 for express buses.  If you use the SmarTrip card, fares are $1.60 for regular buses and $3.65 for express buses. Bus drivers do not carry money.  Please have your SmarTrip card, transfer, or exact fare ready when you board.  Transfers can be obtained from the machines inside the Metro stations.

Shuttle from the Metro to WCL

From the Tenleytown/AU Metro stop you can pick up the Law School Shuttle (WCL Direct Shuttle), which is located across the street from the station, at the corner of Albemarle Street and Fort Drive.  If coming from the Metro station, take the east side exit, marked “Tenleytown/AU.”  From there, continue straight ahead and walk past a Sears Home Appliance Showroom, which will be on your left.  You will see an American University main campus Shuttle stop.  The WCL Shuttle stop is located directly across the street from the main campus shuttle.  The shuttle to WCL (the Red Route) is free and runs every 15 minutes between 7:00am and 8:00pm on weekdays.  This Shuttle will take you directly to the law school.  On evenings and weekends, the White Route will take you to WCL with stops at American University’s main campus.  This shuttle runs every 10 minutes from 8:00am to 3:30 am on Saturdays and from 8am to 1am on Sundays. 

For return trips, the Shuttle departs from the South side of the law school at the same location where it drops you off when you take it from the Metro.  When walking to the bus stop from the law school, exit the front of the school, and turn left towards the stairs.  Take your first left, on 48th Street, and walk to the Shuttle Stop located on the corner of 48th and Warren Streets. 

For those staying in the AU dorms, the Shuttle bus (White Route) picks up at a variety of locations on main campus and will take you to WCL. Additionally, the Shuttle bus (Red Route) will has a stop on Massachusetts Ave NW by Katzen Art Center (near Cassell Hall) that will take you to WCL. Shuttle bus information is available at 202-885-3111 or at www.wcl.american.edu/shuttle.cfm#metro. Additionally, you can find the shuttle schedule for the summer here: http://american.edu/finance/facilities/shuttle.cfm.


The Law School building at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW is about a one mile (1.6 kilometers) walk, through a residential area, from the Tenleytown/AU Metrorail Station. If walking: exit the Station and proceed to Albemarle Street. Turn right on to Albemarle Street. Follow Albemarle Street to 48th Street, NW. Turn left on 48th and proceed about four blocks to Massachusetts Avenue, NW. The Law School is situated on your right. Enter it from the Massachusetts Avenue side.


Parking is available at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. You may park your vehicles in the WCL garage without a permit by paying a daily fee by cash or credit card to the parking attendant. The maximum daily fee is $12. Alternatively, a permit may be purchased in the Facilities Management Office, room 383. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the parking policy, please contact the Facilities Management Office at 202-274-4008.


When using a taxi service be sure to instruct the driver to take you to 4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW, rather than just to American University. The Washington College of Law is not located on the main AU campus. If you need a taxicab, please call: Diamond Cab: 202-387-6200 or Yellow Cab: 202-546-7900.

Pence Law Library

The Pence Law Library is located on the first and second floors of WCL, with the entrance on the first floor. The Law Library is open to the general public. Library hours during the Environmental Law Summer Session can be found on the Pence Law Library website: http://library.wcl.american.edu/hours.cfm.

The Pence Law Library website is also an excellent way to search for legal materials. To start a search for books and periodicals, go to http://library.wcl.american.edu and on that page you can do a quick search in Leagle or click on the "Leagle, Library Catalog" link, which will take you to the library catalog. The catalog identifies all of the materials housed in the library, as well as electronic resources that can be used within the library.

Many periodicals, including law reviews, bar journals, and newsletters, are available through HeinOnline, a full-text electronic database available on the Pence Law Library website, which can be accessed by clicking on "Research Tools.” HeinOnline, also has many indexes to legal periodicals. Links to all available research databases are located under “Information Resources, A to Z” or “Information Resources by Topic.” These links offer non-legal or more specified research tools. To access these resources from the Pence Law Library webpage, you must be connected to the WCL network, either in the law school or via remote access using your my.american.edu password.

Professional reference assistance is available in the main reading room on the first floor of the Library. During the summer, reference assistance is available daily from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. During the academic year, reference service is available from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday; 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.. Reference librarians are also available to faculty and students for research consultations by appointment. You may contact a reference librarian at reflib@wcl.american.edu or by telephone at 202-274-4352.

To make copies of publications in the Library, self-service photocopiers are located on both floors of the Library, and photocopy machines for microform are located in the Reserve Room on the first floor. All Library photocopiers require the use of a copy card. You can purchase a copy card at one of the "Card Value Centers" for $1 in one of the Library's copy rooms. Please note that there are no facilities available for making change from coins or bills. There are several banks and local businesses in the immediate area of the Law School that might assist you

Computer Lab - Technology Services

The Computer Lab and the technology help desk are located on the second floor of the Pence Law Library. It is straight ahead from the top of the stairs, in the open area along the back wall. The computer lab has many computers you can use to edit papers, check e-mail, and do research. The lab maintains 52 PC workstations and 21 Macintosh PowerPC terminals. Students can also utilize the two HP 8000 laser printers in the lab or access the laser printers in the library via their own laptops. These resources allow for access to the Internet, to personalized e-mail accounts, and to the network printing system. Additionally, the library has research ONLY stations located on the first and second floor. You may do research using Lexis, Westlaw, CALI and the internet. However, editing papers and checking email is not permitted at these stations.

Additionally, WCL has a wireless network connection that can be accessed throughout the building. There are also computer terminals on the 6th floor that can be used for quickly checking email or other information.

How to Log-In and Log-Out of the WCL Computers

When you sit down at a library computer, there will be a log-in window with two fields of information for you to fill in. The Circulation desk staff (on the first floor of the library, an immediate left after walking in) can give you the necessary information to log-on to the library computers. Once you have finished working at your station, please remember to log-out. To do so, go to the Start Menu and select "close all programs and log on as a different user." This will log you out of the network and will make sure that other students do not see your personal information.

Wireless Network Access

WCL has wireless internet in all of its classrooms. You will be able to log-on to the WCL network using your AU user name and password. If you are using your own laptop throughout the Summer Session and do not have an AU log-in, please use the wireless network named wcl-guest. The username and password will be provided on arrival.

If you have any questions, please contact summerenvironment@wcl.american.edu or the Office of Technology.


The weather in Washington, DC in late May and June tends to be hot and humid. Temperatures range from 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 38 degrees Celsius). There are often thunderstorms as well in the middle of the day, so having an umbrella or raincoat will likely be useful.


Dress for classes at the university is generally casual. Jeans, skirts, shorts, athletic shoes, and sandals are all acceptable for both men and women. If you are participating in site visits as part of a seminar you are taking (namely International Institutions and Environmental Protection) or because you want to, you should wear business casual attire.

Food at and around WCL

There are numerous restaurants in the Tenleytown area and around DC, below is a few that are in the area immediately surrounding the law school. More information about local restaurants can be found in the Welcome Guide.

WCL Cafeteria
On the Sixth Floor of the law school, there is a cafeteria. It has snacks, coffee, a salad bar, hot food, sandwiches, etc. During the Summer Session, the cafeteria will be open M-Th from 8am-2:30pm and Fri. from 8am to 2pm.

Located in the Spring Valley Shopping Center (just down the street from the law school), Wagshal's is a deli and market. It offers sandwiches, soups, and a hot food bar. Also, the Wagshal's market location (in the same shopping center) has a salad bar and hamburgers, veggie burgers, turkey burgers and hotdogs.

Tara Thai
Located in the Spring Valley Shopping Center (just down the street from the law school), Tara Thai is a Thai and sushi restaurant.