American University Washington College of Law Receives Top Specialty Rankings by U.S. News
SIX PROGRAMS IN THE TOP 15 NATIONALLY
March 30, 2021
American University Washington College of Law has excelled in the 2022 programmatic specialty rankings released by U.S. News and World Report. The law school has six programs ranked in the top 15 nationally – #3 Clinical Program, #4 Part-Time JD, #6 International Law, #8 Intellectual Property, #11 Health Care Law, and #12 Trial Advocacy. Only 12 other law schools have six or more specialty programs in the top 15 in the country.
We pride ourselves on providing students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact in the Washington, D.C. region, our nation, and around the world. At American University Washington College of Law students are supported by a law school community committed to equity and inclusive excellence, their well-being, and their professional development and advancement.
At AUWCL, we strive to Champion What Matters.
For more information on how to join our community, visit our JD Admissions page.
#3 CLINICAL PROGRAM
“This recent ranking reflects the ongoing strength of the WCL Clinical Program, which has received national recognition for its top-quality faculty, thoughtful pedagogy, and its many contributions to clients and communities in the DC area and beyond. Even in the midst of these turbulent times, our dynamic Clinical Program has adapted to the changing nature of lawyering, and has stepped up to help meet some of the most urgent legal needs.”
— Professor Jayesh Rathod, Associate Dean for Experiential Education; Director, Immigrant Justice Clinic
The AUWCL Clinical Program consists of 11 in-house clinics, with 20+ faculty members that serve approximately 200 students each year. With clinics focused on Immigrant Justice, Disability Rights, International Human Rights, Community and Economic Development, and Intellectual Property, among others, the Clinical Program has jump-started countless legal careers in its over 45-year history. LEARN MORE
#4 PART-TIME JD PROGRAM
“Though I have been the associate dean for the Part-Time and Evening Program for less than a year, I have been very impressed with the commitment students, faculty, and staff have shown in this difficult year to ensuring that though this year is different it is not lesser. The thing that most impresses me about students in the Part-Time JD Program is their ability to juggle multiple demands. Taking only slightly fewer credits per semester than students in the full-time program, part-time students typically are doing law school on top of a regular job as well as other commitments. So many part time students come to WCL with a track record of career success, a body of work that suggests that they are up to the challenge. Going forward, we will continue to grow, taking lessons from the pandemic’s forced move to online instruction while also working to maximize the value of our DC location.”
—Professor Ezra Rosser, Associate Dean of the Part-Time and Evening Division
The four-year Part-Time JD Program gives students the intellectual foundations for legal study and the opportunity to focus their studies on areas of particular interest through advanced classes, clinics, and writing projects. Our professors represent the entire spectrum of the profession, public as well as private, bringing contemporary national issues into the classroom. LEARN MORE
#6 INTERNATIONAL LAW
“We are proud that AUWCL’s leadership in promoting international law continues to be recognized. Our Tech, Law and Security Program adds strength to our established areas of expertise in human rights and humanitarian law, international trade law, international arbitration, international environmental law, gender justice, and more. Our distinguished faculty and cutting-edge international programs will continue to address the most pertinent global challenges, such as climate change, rise of big data, and pandemics.”
—Professor Padideh Ala’i, Director, International and Comparative Legal Studies
International and comparative law has long been central to the educational mandate of American University Washington College of Law. AUWCL’s 29 full-time international law faculty continue to engage in innovative scholarship with over 50 publications annually, as well as impactful activities with key organizations such as the UN International Law Commission, the International Commission of Jurists, the American Law Institute, the American Society of International Law, the Society of International Economic Law, and the International Chamber of Commerce Court of International Arbitration, among others. The law school’s international offerings have grown to include 22 specialized programs, 22 semester exchanges, 6 dual degrees, and 65+ partnership agreements in 32 countries worldwide. With more than 4,000 international alumni, AUWCL provides countless connections for our students and graduates around the world. LEARN MORE
#8 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
“The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property’s consistent strength in the national rankings reflects our long and deep commitment to providing an unparalleled student experience, engaging with IP professionals, and conducting impactful research."
—Professor Christine Haight-Farley, Faculty Co-Director, Program on Information Justice and Information Property
“Intellectual property has been part of the curriculum at the Washington College of Law for more than 100 years. Our program’s deep and firm roots in Washington D.C. allows us to engage with the central institutions and leaders in this dynamic area of the law. With one of the largest alumni networks in intellectual property and technology law, and our distinctive approach to professional development, there really is no better place to start one’s career in this field."
—Professor Michael Carroll, Faculty Co-Director, Program on Information Justice and Information Property
The Washington College of Law has consistently supported one of the largest and best-resourced programs in intellectual property law. Our IP and Technology program today features our path-breaking Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic, two public interest research centers (www.PIJIP.org and Technology, Law and Security), over a dozen full-time faculty, a curriculum of over 60 courses, seven student-run organizations, and four specialty publications or annual journal issues. If you are looking for a large, vibrant, program with a sustained commitment to investing in the field and promoting the public interest, we invite you to LEARN MORE
#11 HEALTH CARE LAW
“Health law students, alumni, faculty, and staff at American University are working together to grow our program and build connections across this critically important and dynamic field of practice."
—Professor Lindsay F. Wiley, Director, Health Law and Policy Program
The Health Law and Policy Program’s conferences and networking events connect leading experts from across the country with movers and shakers in the nation’s capital. The program boasts a robust Health Law and Policy Summer Institute, where nationally recognized practitioners lead intensive, practice-focused courses on subjects like Digital Health, the False Claims Act and Drug Pricing, along with a lunch and learn series. Our national annual health law student writing competition is in its sixth year with participation from students representing over 60 law schools. LEARN MORE
#12 TRIAL ADVOCACY
“AUWCL consistently produces top notch litigators and advocates. We offer over 20 different trial advocacy courses, and we host several regional and national competitions that attract the top-ranked advocacy teams in the country. In fact, the Washington College of Law hosts more competitions that any ABA-accredited law school in the nation. More than 400 students each year enroll in one of our 40 introductory and advanced advocacy courses, and our student teams compete in over 40 trial, appellate, ADR and transactional law competitions yearly—both nationally and internationally.”
—Professor Cynthia Jones, director of the Stephen S. Weinstein Advocacy Program
"American University’s success in regional, national, and international advocacy competitions is second to none. The variety of teams and competitions is staggering – we pride ourselves on producing practice-ready advocates."
—Joe Lester, Associate Director of Advocacy Competitions and Training
Through the Advocacy Program, AUWCL students benefit from numerous trial advocacy courses ranging from basic Civil and Criminal Trial Advocacy to advanced advocacy courses such as Litigating in a High Tech Courtroom, Scientific Evidence and Expert Testimony, Special Witnesses, and Victims’ Rights, to name a few. LEARN MORE
#23 CRIMINAL LAW
Last year, AUWCL's Criminal Justice Program was ranked for the first time in the Criminal Law category – moving up to #23. With over 30 criminal law and related classes taught by 13 full-time criminal law faculty, there are many opportunities to be found, including the criminal justice clinic, related immigration clinic and domestic violence clinics, four journals/law reviews, two student organizations, and numerous externship and internship opportunities. In collaboration with the criminal law faculty, the Criminal Justice Practice and Policy Institute connects alumni working in criminal law with interested students to provide the legal and practical skills training needed to be successful. LEARN MORE
#37 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
The Program on Environmental and Energy Law led by Professor Bill Snape, previously the Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law, was ranked in the Environmental Law category at #37. The program includes a curriculum of more than 25 environmental and energy law-related courses, 4 student-run environmental, energy, and animal law organizations and more than 25 high profile adjunct professors who practice in the field, along with numerous classroom and field opportunities to learn from professors and practitioners engaged with pressing domestic and international issues. LEARN MORE
In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 125 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, intellectual property, and health law and policy to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit www.wcl.american.edu.