History of the Law School
The Washington College of Law was founded in 1896 by two feminists, Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma M. Gillett, who established a coeducational school to ensure that women, as well as men, would have the opportunity to study law. The school’s unique origins underlie the faculty and administration’s special interest in the future of women in the law and have led to a long tradition of providing full opportunity for the study of law to those who have been excluded from the mainstream of the profession.
Accreditation and Licensure Information
For information regarding the accreditation and licensing of American University, please visit: https://www.american.edu/academics.
American University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-284-5000. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). For more information about American University’s Middle States accreditation, go to: www.msche.org/institutions_view.asp?idinstitution=13.
The Washington College of Law became a professional division of American University in 1949. The Washington College of Law is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) through ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education. American University’s Washington College of Law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. The law school also meets the requirements for preparation for the bar in all states and carries the certification for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the New York State Department of Education.
For American University’s conditional exemption from licensing in the District of Columbia, go to https://osse.dc.gov/service/higher-education-licensure-commission-helc.
State Authorization Information
As of the publication date of this catalog, several online programs of American University are currently authorized, exempt or not subject to approval in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. American University will continue to monitor developments in state laws in each state in which it enrolls students and, if authorization or licensure is or becomes necessary, will obtain such additional approvals.
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA)
American University became a member of SARA on November 14, 2016. As a member of SARA, the University can deliver distance education programs to residents of member states. American University abides by the policies and standards described in the SARA Manual. SARA reciprocity does not apply to distance (online) programs that lead to licensure. Prospective students must consult with their home state regulating agencies regarding regulations applicable to out-of-state licensure programs before making enrollment decisions.
In states where SARA does not apply, we have worked directly with the state to ensure compliance. To find more about SARA, please visit https://nc-sara.org/.
For the most current information about American University state authorizations, go to www.american.edu/academics/state-auth.cfm.