Our History

Law & Government Specialization

American University Washington College of Law is a leading center for feminist legal scholarship and teaching. Our Program on Law & Government offers the only LL.M. 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, 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.

LL.M. 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. Washington College of Law offers an extraordinary number of classes that address the interaction of gender and law in depth.

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Specialization in Gender and International Law

Championing gender justice requires creative approaches to the law and specialized knowledge of the legal challenges facing women and LGBTQI folks. Our students explore issues that have a deep impact on the lives of women and LGBTQI folks which are often overlooked in law school: women's rights; LGBTI rights; reproductive justice; domestic violence; comparative family law; sexual and gender-based crimes in armed conflict; sexuality; human trafficking; and gender-based discrimination in employment and education.

To obtain the LL.M. degree, students must successfully complete twenty-four credit hours in International Legal Studies, twelve of which must be in courses focused on gender and international or comparative law.

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The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD. ) Program is designed for aspiring legal academics and other top legal professionals to pursue sustained independent research and writing in a given field of legal specialization, including gender and law. The Program culminates in a dissertation of publishable quality that represents a valuable, original contribution to feminist legal scholarship and a public presentation and defense of his or her dissertation before an SJD examining committee and members of the WCL community.

Upon successful completion of the SJD Program requirements, we are pleased to celebrate our new Doctors of Juridical Science and welcome them to our community of feminist legal scholars. 

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