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AUWCL Receives Top Grades for Business and Criminal Law, Trial Competition Teams from PreLaw Magazine

Nov. 13, 2020

American University Washington College of Law has once again received top rankings from PreLaw Magazine, including an A+ for Business Law and an A for Criminal Law in new rankings released in its Fall 2020 issue.

Each year, the magazine – published by National Jurist – grades law schools’ specialty programs on the breadth of their curricular offerings, including courses, journals, externships, student groups, and certificates offered. Included in this issue are rankings for Business Law, Criminal Law, and Moot Teams.

AUWCL was one of 13 law schools across the country to receive an A+ ranking in Business Law. Our robust Business Law Program, directed by Professor David Snyder and associate director Gerald Comizio works with its Advisory Council on Business Law to assure the program remains forward-looking and connected to major networks in private practice, the corporate world, and government. 

In addition to offering basic courses, such as Corporate Finance and Secured Transactions, the Business Law Program focuses on cutting-edge issues, such as anti-corruption, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other distributed ledger technologies. The program also hosts a yearly business basics boot camp to introduce law students to business concepts and has numerous student organizations and practical training opportunities for students interested in this ever-expanding field of law.

AUWCL’s A ranked Criminal Law curriculum features over 30 criminal law and related classes taught by 13 full-time criminal law faculty, five journals/law reviews, two student organizations, and numerous externship and internship opportunities. Practical training via the Criminal Justice Clinic allows students to prosecute cases or represent criminal defendants while working with expert faculty and practitioners-in-residence. 

Through the annual Criminal Law Externship Fair, students are able to secure valuable work experience at the Department of Justice, local prosecutor and public defender offices, and a wide range of non-profit organizations, including Families against Mandatory Minimums, the Victims’ Rights Law Center, and the Innocence Project. There are also opportunities to hone your knowledge in an array of specific and related practice areas, including juvenile justice, white-collar crime, law of sentencing, computer crime, domestic violence law, national security law and terrorism, among many other topic areas.

preLaw Magazine also recognized AUWCL’s moot court and other trial competitions teams with a #12 ranking. The Stephen S. Weinstein Advocacy Program trains students in all forms of legal advocacy, including trial and appellate litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and transactional negotiations. The Advocacy Program is currently ranked 4th nationally by U.S. News and World Report and has been one of the ten best advocacy programs since 2012. 

Success of the program is due, in large part, to the more than 100 legal professionals who teach, coach, and volunteer to support our mission. Area practitioners and judges impart their vast expertise as they teach a wide range of advocacy courses and skilled lawyers have coached student teams to more than 25 national championships over the last 8 years.


In 1896, American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 120 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. AUWCL’s top ranked specialty programs -- in Clinical Legal Education, Trial Advocacy, International Law, Health Law and Policy, Intellectual Property, and Part-Time JD -- 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, the nation, and the world. For more information, visit