American University Washington College of Law: Washington College of Law

American University
Washington College of Law

American University Washington College of Law is a leading law school at the center of policy, business, and all things international. Here, students learn to tackle legal challenges in Washington, D.C., throughout the US, and around the world. Our LL.M. programs feature flexible curricula that incorporate a rich array of specialized law courses, seminars, and experiential learning opportunities. As a student, you will be supported by a law school community that is uniquely collaborative, including faculty, who are passionate about education, and a global network of LL.M. alumni.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Programs
American University Washington College of Law offers four in-residence LL.M. programs that are 24 credits and generally take one calendar year to complete. The Law School also offers a hybrid LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, which is a two-year program offered both online (fall and spring semesters) and in-residence (summer semester). The program is offered in either English or Spanish.

In addition to the LL.M. programs described below, the Law School offers an SJD Program for aspiring legal academics and a JD Transfer Program for LLM and Foreign Lawyers. Please visit the websites directly for additional information on these programs.

LL.M. in International Legal Studies
The International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) is one of the oldest LL.M. programs in the U.S. and is consistently recognized as a leader in the field of international law.  Currently, ranked #8 by U.S. News & World Report, the program offers specializations in areas of public and private international law and trains lawyers to work in a global environment through workshops on cross-cultural topics, externship opportunities in leading international organizations, courses taught by world-renowned faculty, and discussions among our diverse and accomplished student body.  Select areas of study include:

  • International Business Law
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Trade and Investment
  • International Environmental Law
  • Gender and International Law
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • International Organizations

LL.M. in Trial Advocacy
In the Trial Advocacy LL.M., experienced faculty believe in learning by doing. Ranked #4 by U.S. News & World Report the program combines a rigorous academic component and a breadth of practical litigation training.  Small classes and personalized attention ensure that students master persuasive advocacy strategies, learn cutting edge courtroom technology, and are prepared for all aspects of litigation.

Students in this program create an individualized curriculum from a list of 17 core advocacy courses and over 35 related courses that focus on the intersection of various areas of substantive law and practice.  In addition to traditional course work, Advocacy LL.M. students have the opportunity to earn academic credit from scholarly writing, co-teaching and participation in externships. Select areas of study include:

  • Criminal Trial Advocacy
  • Civil Trial Advocacy
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

LL.M. in Law and Government
The Program on Law and Government, trains lawyers not only to navigate the twists and turns of legislative, administrative, and judicial processes, but to master the broader institutional forces that shape the law, including politics, the media, the bar, lobbying entities, public opinion, and the marketplace. Students are trained to be not just public lawyers but public leaders. Select areas of study include:

  • Administrative Law
  • Business and Financial Regulation
  • Civil and Constitutional Rights
  • Criminal Law
  • Disability Rights
  • Environmental and Energy Law
  • Gender and the Law
  • Health Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Law, Politics and Legislation
  • National Security Law
  • Securities Law

LL.M. in Intellectual Property
The LL.M. in Intellectual Property is offered through one of the world’s leading centers for the study of intellectual property and information law. U.S. News & World Report ranks the program #11.  The program reflects the law school’s core strengths: world-renowned faculty, expansive curriculum, dynamic research and advocacy programs, engaged career development professionals, and unparalleled experiential learning opportunities in a global center of intellectual property policymaking and legal practice. By emphasizing the international and public interest aspects of intellectual property law, the program is equipping the next generation of lawyers with specialized knowledge in a complex, frequently changing and increasingly global field. Select areas of study include:

  • Patent
  • Copyright
  • Trademark
  • Trade Secrets
  • Art and Design
  • Cyberlaw
  • Intellectual Property and Competition Law
  • Intellectual Property Licensing
  • International and Comparative Intellectual Property
  • Media & Communications

LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
In the challenging work of international human rights and humanitarian law, advocates need a program that will offer specialized training to promote lasting change. Our innovative structure offers a hybrid master’s program with both on-site (residential) and online components that allows students to study while continuing their important work from anywhere in the world. Students participate in weekly live classes during the online component and have access to a world renowned faculty consisting of experts from academia, international tribunals, civil society, and international organizations, who form part of the ever growing network of innovators who will teach the residential courses. *Este LL.M. es el único que tambien ofrece un currículo híbrido en derechos humanos en Estados Unidos en español.* Select areas of study include:

  • International Human Rights Standards
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • The Rights of Vulnerable Groups
  • European and African Human Rights Law
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • United Nations Human Rights System
  • Inter-American Human Rights System

Eligibility Requirements
American UniversityIn order to be eligible for an LL.M., applicants must:

  • Hold a Juris Doctor (JD) from a US law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) or a first degree in law from a foreign law school with equivalent standards. 
  • Submit a completed application form along with supporting documents before the application deadline
  • International applicants must meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement
  • Applicants to the LL.M. in International Human Rights & Humanitarian Law will be expected to have two years of prior experience in the legal profession.

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Need- and Merit-Based Scholarships: All five LL.M. programs offer scholarships. These partial tuition grants are available for a limited number of LL.M. students. Scholarship applications should be submitted with your LL.M. application. Scholarships are awarded based on academic merit and financial need.  For more information on scholarships please check our scholarship website.
  • ILSP Alumni Fund: The LL.M. in International Legal Studies offers six full-tuition scholarships. The Alumni Fund Scholarships are awarded to newly admitted students who display rigorous academic dedication to the advancement of issues in international law. Scholarship applications must be submitted with a completed LLM application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The deadline to apply is March 1 for the fall award and October 1 for the spring award. Visit the Alumni Fund Scholarship page for detailed rules and application information on how to apply.
  • LL.M. Fellowships in Law & Government, Advocacy, and Intellectual Property: These fellowships are designed for exceptional students passionately committed to their field of specialization. Successful applicants will have an exemplary academic background and a demonstrated potential to excel in the LL.M. program. The fellow will enroll in the 24-credit LL.M. program and will receive a number of benefits, including a partial scholarship. Additional information: Law and Government LL.M. Fellowship, Advocacy LL.M. Fellowship, and Information Justice Fellowship.
  • Summer Program Scholarships: Applicants who have participated in a summer program at our law school may be eligible for specific scholarships.

For more information, please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions website or contact:
American University Washington College of Law
Office of Graduate Admissions
4300 Nebraska Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Phone: 202.274.4110







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