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Graduate Law Offerings and Recruitment Adapt during COVID

February 12, 2021

American University Washington College of Law, ranked 4th in the nation in international law, is known for its breadth of offerings in international and comparative law, and for being a welcoming environment for international students. However, like all universities, this past year presented new opportunities for American University faculty and staff to adapt recruiting efforts, deliver innovative course content, and engage students across the globe.

Reaching Applicants; Flexible Admissions Process
“Understanding the uncertainty that the pandemic has created around the world, the Office of Graduate Admissions has operated with a greater degree of flexibility,” said Clark Morris, director for graduate admissions. “As part of our commitment to deliver access to education to all, the office has waived application fees, temporarily allowed international applicants to submit alternate proof of English proficiency, and has extended application deadlines.”

The law school has also made it easier to obtain scholarships by dispensing with merit-based and need-based scholarship applications and automatically considering all applicants for scholarship awards. In lieu of travelling to international recruitment events, the office has also increased the number of online webinars and virtual recruitment events to reach applicants wherever they are. 

The Office of Graduate Admissions also recently released a new online application system. This new application portal streamlines the application process giving applicants the ability to easily upload supplemental documents and check their real-time application status at any time.

Adjusting to a Virtual Classroom
In order to ensure that our virtual classes are engaging and welcoming, AUWCL professors have participated in training sessions throughout the year to learn the best ways to run online classes. Professors have consulted with instructional designers to tailor course plans in a way that ensures optimal learning outcomes for each course.

While students have had to forego in-person engagement, they have benefitted from a greater variety of enriching online events. In the virtual classroom, students have been able to take advantage of recorded lectures, which enhance the ability to engage in class discussions while providing an opportunity to review discussions again. This is been especially valuable to students experiencing the American legal education system for the first time.

Innovative Programs
In addition to its ten robust LL.M. offerings, AUWCL has expanded its intellectual property law program to encompass the growing field of technology law. Our LL.M. in Intellectual Property and Technology takes advantage of our Washington D.C. location, and our flagship research and policy centers, to bring students in constant contact with the judges, legislators, officials, trade negotiators, multilateral agencies, and industry and public interest lawyers whose work shapes this exciting and rapidly changing area of the law. The 'top 10' nationally ranked Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP), and the recently launched Tech, Law and Security Program (TLS), offer some of the broadest and deepest opportunities to engage the field of any law school in the world.

The recently launched Online/Hybrid International Arbitration and Business Law LL.M. is designed to be a flexible degree program for junior and mid-level attorneys interested in commercial cross-border transactions and dispute settlement through arbitration. This virtual learning program adds to the already existing in-residence LL.M. in International Arbitration and Business Law, and allows for 100% online learning or a combination of online and in-residence learning. The faculty are accomplished arbitrators, practitioners, academics, and representatives from arbitral institutions, and draw from the prominent Center on International Commercial Arbitration.

For more information about our LL.M. programs, upcoming information sessions, deadlines, and scholarships, visit wcl.american.edu/llm. The final deadline for the fall 2021 semester is July 1, however, we do recommend that international students apply by May 1 due to visa requirements.