Program Details


Located in Washington, D.C., a key center for international policy, AUWCL benefits from its proximity to leading global organizations and prominent non-profits. Its modern facilities offer students a chance to engage with diverse individuals and institutions from across the globe. This unique setting, nestled in the heart of the nation’s capital, also provides extensive opportunities for networking within an international community, fostering personal and professional growth for aspiring human rights lawyers.

Students must complete 24 academic credits to be awarded the LL.M. degree.

Designed to provide students with maximum flexibility, the curriculum of the LL.M. program takes into account the differing interests and needs of students. The program combines a rigorous academic component and a breadth of practical skills training from an array of courses, externships, and opportunities to pursue research experience.

Students can earn credits beyond regular courses through externships, independent studies, and through summer abroad programs. Following WCL’s long tradition of experiential legal education, the program facilitates the development of professional networking relationships for career opportunities throughout the program. WCL’s location and its proximity to international organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations provide students with exceptional access to valuable work opportunities. Students may seek advice from a dedicated LL.M. Career Advisor for guidance on externships and career opportunities.

Students in all tracks are strongly encouraged to participate in externships, with many students securing positions at prestigious organizations worldwide. These include the United Nations, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, Human Rights Watch, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the Center for Justice & International Law (CEJIL), Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), Robert Kennedy Human Rights, Women’s Link Worldwide, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, among others.

Additionally, students interested in research receive direct supervision and guidance from expert faculty with extensive knowledge in various human rights areas. This mentorship helps students produce high-quality research papers suitable for publication.

The program provides foreign-trained lawyers in the residential track with the courses required to qualify to sit for the New York Bar Exam. Foreign-trained LL.M. students must complete at least 12 credits of New York Bar-required courses out of the 24 credits needed for the LL.M. degree.

Encouraging students to engage in practical training experiences is a key focus of the program. The program offers specialized guidance from an experienced LL.M. Career Counselor who, along with faculty, is committed to supporting students in pursuing these opportunities.

Eligible international LL.M. students may apply for an OPT permit. This training allows students who have lived in the US for at least one year the opportunity to obtain practical work experience in the US for up to a full year after graduation.

The Academy supports the career development of students and alumni through networking events, career coaching, and curriculum advising resources.

The annual summer program offers an immersive human rights learning experience to more than 150 participants from 25 countries with diverse professional backgrounds. This intensive three-week program provides a choice of over 15 courses available in English and Spanish, all eligible for ABA credit. Participants have the unique opportunity to engage with judges from the ICC and ICJ, UN Special Rapporteurs and Committee members, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights members, renowned NGO experts, and global professors. The program is aligned with the LL.M. in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and follows the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition. Contact:

This exclusive trilingual (English, Portuguese, and Spanish) annual competition trains law students to practice law within the Inter-American human rights legal system, providing a platform for addressing human rights violations. Since 1995, more than 6,000 students and faculty members from 365 universities in the Americas and worldwide have participated. The competition centers on a cutting-edge topic currently under debate in the Inter-American system. Students analyze the annual hypothetical case, drafting legal memoranda and presenting oral arguments to human rights experts serving at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Contact:

This annual writing competition encourages global lawyers to produce scholarly work in international human rights law. The Academy offers two awards, one for the best article in English and one in Spanish. Winners receive a scholarship for the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, with their articles also eligible for publication in the American University International Law Review. The competition is open to lawyers worldwide. Contact:

This annual event features conferences, workshops, and a film festival. During Human Rights Month, the Academy provides a forum for education and discussion of human rights theory and practice. Participants have the opportunity to share first-hand experiences, as well as network with fellow practitioners, scholars, and activists in the field. All panels are open to the public. Contact: