Advising @ AUWCL
The faculty and administration of AUWCL are eager to assist you in your professional journey. Advising and counseling takes many forms, and this page provides information on how you can best engage with the community to receive the information you need to succeed. We encourage you to meet with the faculty and staff to gather information and advice about how you can craft the academic and professional strategy that makes sense for you, given your needs, experience, and aspirations.
We expect all students to seek out advising and counseling in each of the areas below at least once per semester. Your advisor will provide guidance on whether you should meet more often given your particular needs.
Career Advising and Coaching:
Office of Career & Professional Development
The Office of Career & Professional Development ("OCPD") is comprised of career counselors who can assist you in understanding the legal market and perfecting your job search application documents. Through OCPD, you also have access to many online resources and information about legal events in your area of interest. You may begin meeting with OCPD career counselors in mid-October of your first year.
Faculty Practice Groups
The Faculty of AUWCL is organized into eleven Faculty Practice Groups, based on different areas of substantive law. You can sign up for as many as you would like, and once you are registered, you will get emails about events, opportunities, and counseling. We also strongly encourage you to meet with as many faculty members as possible within each of the groups that interest you to develop an understanding of how to break into your field of interest. You may sign up for Faculty Practice Groups beginning in January of your first year.
Academic Skills and Bar Exam Advising:
Office of Academic Excellence
Preparing for the bar exam begins on your first day of law school. The bar exam tests your analytical and writing skills and substantive knowledge, and you begin building that knowledge throughout your first year courses and beyond. In addition, the bar focuses heavily on how you analyze complex issues and your writing skills. These skills cannot be learned in a short period of time but instead are learned incrementally beginning in the first year of law school.
We strongly recommend that you take advantage of academic skills programming in the first year and that you meet regularly with an OAE advisor, especially if you are encountering difficulties in your studies. OAE advisors can also provide you guidance on which state bars to consider, course planning, and early bar preparation.. Every AUWCL student has the ability to pass the bar with hard work, strategic focus, and substantive knowledge - we encourage you to allow us to help you plan for academic and bar examination success!
Academic Advising, Course Selection, and Academic Counseling:
At AUWCL we are proud of our rich curriculum, excellent faculty, and focus on teaching and the student experience. Whether you have a specific area of focus in law school or seek a more broad-based education, you should make your curricular choices in consultation with experts. In addition, you must make sure that you timely meet all of the requirements for graduation, which requires strategy and planning.
We strongly encourage you to do the following each semester:
- Review the Roadmaps to Graduation to ensure you are on track (AU Login Required)
- Review the Pathways for each of the substantive areas that interest you to obtain an understanding of how to position yourself to succeed in different areas of the law and know your faculty resources in that field.
- Review prior faculty teaching evaluations.
- Use the AU Eagle Service Student Planning Tool to plan courses that interest you:
- To access the system, login using your AU credentials and search Eagle Service;
- If this is your first time registering, first review the AU Eagle Service Tutorial.
- Meet with Sarah Stanley, the Assistant Director of Student Affairs, who can assist you with your academic planning with respect to graduation requirements and course selection. This is particularly important if you are considering switching divisions at any time during law school or if you are hoping to graduate early.
- Meet with faculty members in your Faculty Practice Groups for counseling and advice on your long-term strategic planning. It is important to speak with many faculty members -- including adjunct faculty -- as the legal field is broad and you will likely receive advice from many that you will need to reconcile as you design your plan.
- Ensure that you are on track to meet all WCL and ABA graduation requirements by requesting a formal degree audit by emailing the Office of the Registrar.
Personal Counseling and Accommodations:
Office of Student Affairs
Law school is difficult. You may be faced with challenges that you never anticipated. You may even know that you have a problem, but cannot pinpoint what it is. The Office of Student Affairs stands ready to help you to address the source of any issues that may arise and recommend solutions through our partnerships with American University's Academic Support & Access Center, Counseling Center, or Student Health Center, among others. We even have a professional counselor on site at WCL four days per week (by appointment).
At the first sign of any concerns, please reach out to us or visit the Student Affairs office (C107) so that we can help you. If you think you need to see a counselor immediately, the AU Counseling Center has urgent care drop-in hours Mondays through Fridays, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you believe you may be entitled to classroom and/or testing accommodations under the ADA or Title IX, please email Assistant Director Sarah Stanley to begin the process. Remember, your health and well-being are always the top priorities.
Financial Aid Counseling
The Financial Aid Office provides counseling and resources on a range of topics relevant to financing your legal education and beyond. We offer advice on how to maximize your institutional aid, minimize your federal loan borrowing, budgeting, and loan repayment. We also partner with third-party vendors to offer a more comprehensive financial literacy experience. The counseling staff is equipped to handle your personal situation and should be one of your first stops if you need guidance regarding your satisfactory academic progress, a withdrawal and/or a leave of absence.
The Financial Aid staff is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Appointments are preferred but drop-ins are also welcome. To make an appointment, please email the Financial Aid Office.
We are confident that with a strategic multi-pronged plan focused on professional development, bar examination planning and academic skills development, informed course selection, and personal counseling, your experience will be fulfilling and will allow you to continue your path to professional success. If at any time you have any concerns that are not resolved through your meetings with advisors and counselors, please reach out to:
Dean Lia Epperson, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs
Dean David Jaffe, Associate Dean of Students
Dean Traci Jenkins, Assistant Dean, Office of Career & Professional Development
Dean Amy Tenney, Assistant Dean of Academic Services & Registrar