History of the Program


The Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Law & Government was designed by Thomas Sargentich and Jamie Raskin in 1998 to help law graduates with an interest in U.S. government propel their academic and professional careers. The Program attracts students with a variety of interests in different stages of their professional development. Located in Washington, D.C., the Program combines an intellectually challenging program with endless learning opportunities in the nation's capital. The Program provides students with a competitive edge in fast-changing areas of law, government, and public policy by utilizing the outstanding faculty at American University Washington College of Law and the extraordinary resources of legal practice and public service in Washington.

Overview of the Program


The Program is focused on the law of government, emphasizing the legal regulation of both the private and public realms of U.S. society. Our curriculum is especially deep in federal law and includes offerings dealings with states and localities and with international and global issues, reflecting the increasing interdependence of world society.

The Program's organizing educational principle is that the best prepared lawyers and analysts in fields of regulatory law have not only a firm grasp of particular subjects, but also a mastery of the theories, political forces, and institutional realities that define public law in the United States. Thus, while our students can choose to focus deeply on a sub-field of regulatory law, we also promote broad examination of cross-cutting and emerging issues.

Students combine a personalized course of study with the opportunity to engage in externships. Students may earn credit for working at courts, in federal agencies, on Capitol Hill, and in a myriad of international organizations including the World Bank and the Pan American Health Organization.

Who Should Consider the LL.M. Program?


The breadth of the Program's offerings and the opportunities afforded to students appeal to many different types of students, including:

  • Recent law school graduates who seek to develop credentials, skills, and experience in order to maximize their opportunities upon entering the legal profession;

  • Experienced attorneys who seek to use the LL.M. Program to re-tool and re-direct their careers, switching from one field of expertise to another;

  • Attorneys who want to sharpen their knowledge of established specialties or to broaden their expertise as a prelude to professional reinvention; and

  • Law graduates who seek to satisfy personal and intellectual plans to study and write about subjects of deep interest to them.