Stephen S. Weinstein Trial Advocacy Program - LL.M. Program


The nationally recognized Stephen S. Weinstein Trial Advocacy Program at American University Washington College of Law (WCL) exemplifies our commitment to ensuring that our students are prepared for litigation with solid advocacy skills and a strong ethical foundation.

As a result of intense economic pressures and a rapidly changing legal climate, law firms, government agencies and other legal service providers are placing an increased emphasis on the practical skills lawyers possess instead of basing hiring decisions solely on scholastic achievements or theoretical knowledge. Unfortunately, legal education has been slow to address this demand for lawyers prepared to immediately practice law. The demand for specialized skills is increasing, while on-the-job opportunities to gain these skills are often lacking.

We have expanded the Trial Advocacy Program at WCL to include the Master of Laws, LL.M. in Advocacy (Advocacy LL.M. Program). The Advocacy LL.M. offers students a multifaceted approach to experiential learning through learning-by-doing litigation courses, access to advanced courtroom technology, breadth of specialized litigation-related courses, externship opportunities in the Washington, D.C. area, and students may receive optional credits for completing a research paper of publishable quality, and classroom teaching experience. It is designed for recent J.D. graduates as well as practicing lawyers who wish to hone their litigation skills.

We are committed to working with you to ensure that your post-graduate educational experience at WCL is rewarding. The Program's administration and faculty are dedicated to strengthening experiential learning and education in trial advocacy. We hope that you will join us by becoming a part of this dynamic program.

Claudio Grossman
American University Washington College of Law



The Master of Laws, LL.M. in Advocacy, administered by the Trial Advocacy Program, offers a rigorous academic program with practical litigation training for students to improve their pre-trial and trial skills, learn new litigation strategies and tools, and strengthen their persuasive abilities. The Program offers an array of courses, externships, and opportunities to pursue legal scholarship and gain teaching experience.

Many WCL full-time faculty members have extensive professional backgrounds in private practice, government litigation and non-profit advocacy. Further, students in the Advocacy LL.M. Program will benefit from the more than thirty-five distinguished practicing judges and attorneys from the Washington, D.C. area who teach Trial Advocacy Program courses.

The Advocacy LL.M. Program is designed for recent law school graduates, lawyers looking to diversify their practice or make a career change, and more experienced litigators to expand their litigation competencies and hone practical litigation skills. In the modern courtroom, new challenges confront experienced attorneys and recent graduates alike. Courtrooms have become increasingly high-tech and the ethical challenges facing practitioners have become more complex. The Advocacy LL.M. was developed to take into account the differing needs and interests of students.

The Advocacy LL.M. Program is designed to provide students maximum flexibility. Students can satisfy the 24 credit degree requirement full-time (and complete in one year) or part-time (and complete at their own pace, usually in two years). Program participants may select an individualized curriculum from a list of ten core trial advocacy courses and 40 litigation-based courses.

Thank you for your interest in the Advocacy LL.M. Program. We welcome you to discover what the Program has to offer you.

David Aaronson
Director, Trial Advocacy Program
B.J. Tennery Scholar and Professor of Law
American University Washington College of Law