LLM in Law and Government
Specialization in Gender and Law


Alumni Spotlight

Candace Bond (2014)
Legislative Assistant, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

Candace Bond, Esq.

"Pursing an LL.M. degree in Gender at WCL was the best career decision I have ever made. After majoring in Women’s Studies in undergrad, and specializing in constitutional law and civil rights in law school, completing an LL.M. degree in gender perfected my academic portfolio. In addition, this degree enabled me to gain the practical skills necessary to begin my first job as a legislative assistant at the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, where I currently lobby on behalf of women’s rights, reproductive rights and LGBT rights."

Preston D. Mitchum, JD, LLM

Preston Mitchum (2012)
Research and Policy Analyst, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

"Becoming a voice for the voiceless was a catalyst for me attending the LL.M. in Law & Government. I have always wanted to help individuals who have traditionally been the subject of discrimination. Receiving my LL.M. allowed me to attend conferences on gender, racial, and lgbt policy, to help put on one of the biggest events of the year, and to publish three articles. I would never trade my experience at WCL for anything else in the world."

Jeryl D. Hayes

Jeryl D. Hayes (2012)
Assistant Director of Public Policy
Physicians for Reproductive Health

"My LL.M. experience greatly enhanced my legal training because I was able to deeply engage in discussions, analysis and research on the topics I was most passionate about. I am now using my legal training from my WCL experience to strengthen my role as an advocate for women's reproductive health policies."

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Champion Women's Rights

Defending women’s rights requires a commitment to justice, creative approaches to the law and specialized knowledge of the legal challenges facing women. American University Washington College of Law is a leading center for feminist legal scholarship and teaching. Our Program on Law and Government offers the only LLM degree focused on women’s rights in the United States. This advanced legal degree program offers holders of JD or LLB degrees the opportunity to study subjects that deeply impact the lives of women, yet which are often overlooked in law school: reproductive rights; the relationship of the family to the state; labor and employment; work and family; civil rights of women; domestic violence; sexuality; health law and policy; bioethics; and women’s human rights.

Building an Advocates Resume

Do you need to learn new substantive areas of law to become an advocate for women’s civil and constitutional rights? Are you missing that great writing sample that shows that you are both an excellent writer and committed advocate for gender equality? Do you need to build contacts and a resume that indicates an interest in working on the issues that affect women? Women’s advocacy organizations, government agencies, and family, civil rights, and employment law firms look for candidates with strong academic qualifications and excellent writing skills. They also look for candidates with resumes that indicate a commitment to women’s rights.

Preparing for Practice

We have designed the LLM in Law and Government Specialization in Gender and Law for students who want to use their law degrees to advocate for women’s rights. Our location in Washington, D.C., means that students have the opportunity to extern at local, national and international women’s rights organizations, as well as government agencies. Externships for academic credit provide our LLM students with valuable contacts and experience that prepare them for practice. All of our students write highquality papers that highlight their legal and analytical skills, as well as their engagement with feminist theory.

The Program

LLM students complete 24 credits, with 12 of those credits in courses focused on gender and law theory and doctrine. Our faculty members teach both basic and advanced courses in gender and law, and integrate gender into the study of many substantive areas of law, ranging from employment law to tax policy. While many schools offer a few classes in discrimination, Washington College of Law offers an extraordinary number of classes that address the interaction of gender and law in depth, including:


Gender and Law
Advanced Legal Writing: Gender and Law Feminist Jurisprudence
Sexuality and the Law

Public Policy
Gender, Inequality, and the State
Immigrant Women Law and Policy

Domestic Criminal Law
Advanced Criminal Law: Women, Crime & the Law

Violence Against Women
Domestic Violence

Women’s Health
Reproduction and the Law
Gender and Health Law and Policy

Legal History
Women’s Legal History

Migration and Trafficking
Gender, Labor, and the Global Economy
International Trafficking in Persons

Employment Law
Sex-Based Discrimination

Family Law
Family Law
Adoption Law, Policy, and Practice
Advanced Family Law: Theory and Policy
Comparative Family Law
Legal Drafting: Family Law
Topics in Family Law: Children of LGBT Parents

LL.M. Admissions Information

  • Applicants must have completed a law degree at a U.S. law school accredited by the American Bar Association, or at a foreign law school with equivalent standards.
  • Submit a completed application form along with supporting materials before the application deadline.
  • Admission is based on high achievement in law school (based on a transcript and resume), any professional experiences since law school, writing skills, and demonstrated interest in U.S. law and government.
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. If you have received an offer of admission from another school before receiving a decision from the Program, please contact Hilary Lappin, Assistant Director of Admissions and Special Projects, and the Program will expedite review of your application.