American University Washington College of Law

American University Washington College of Law

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Basic Information

American University’s Washington College of Law has transformed itself into one of the top international law schools in the country, with one of the largest programs for foreign attorneys, and the nation’s largest study abroad program.

“We are living in a moment of tremendous change and transition,” said former Dean Claudio Grossman, who spearheaded the move over the past 16 years as the school’s leader. “In preparation for that, we have to multiply our resources and be innovative.”

Grossman, who was born in Chile, is an expert on international law and human rights.  He said that transnational courses and international law would continue to grow exponentially to keep pace with the world.

Its Center for International Commercial Arbitration and Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law are considered tops in the nation, and helped it rank number five in U.S. News & World Report for international law.

But American is not defined solely by its international focus. It offers concentrations in 12 areas, including law and government, business, environmental law and tax. It added a focus on intellectual property six years ago, including a clinic, and recently added a trial advocacy LL.M. The school also has a strong public interest law program.

American has the largest percent of minorities in the Washington, D.C. region with 37.5 percent — of which 16.5 percent are Hispanic. 

To back up its commitment to diversity, 60 percent of the school’s scholarships are need-based, targeting minorities. That makes the school affordable when it otherwise might not be. Tuition at the private school is more than $43,000 a year.

American finds itself third in the region behind Georgetown and George Washington in many categories — including enrollment (1,500), and entering LSAT and GPA. But it boasts the lowest student-to-faculty ratio in the region at 11.8-to-1.

Published Spring 2012

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75th Percentile1593.59
25th Percentile1523.1
Financial Profile
Tuition Part-time$37,011$37,011
Living Expenses
Median grant$15000
Percent receiving grants51.10%
Estimated net tuition
Employment & Bar Exam Profile
Post-grad employment 81.70%
NJ Employment68
Bar Passage62.40%
Academic Profile
Business, Corporate, Banking
Environmental/Natural Resource Law
Family Law/Child & Family
Governmental Affairs and Regulations
Health Law
Human Rights
Intellectual Property Law
International Law
Public Interest/Social Justice
Tax Law
Trial Advocacy