Washington College of Law Catalog
This is the official catalog of the Washington College of Law (WCL), a professional school of American University (AU). The information it contains is subject to the rules and regulations of the law school and American University. Student conduct is governed by the Washington College of Law Honor Code and the AU Code of Conduct found at https://www.american.edu/policies/students/student-conduct-code.cfm.
American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. University policy prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability and any other bases under federal or local law. Policies of equal opportunity, affirmative action, and nondiscrimination apply to every aspect of the university’s operations and activities, including admissions, employment, and access to university programs and services.
American University, established by a special act of the United States Congress to maintain within the District of Columbia a university for the promotion of education, operates in compliance with the provisions of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act. The statements and provisions in this catalog are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between an applicant for admission to the law school or a law student and American University, because the educational process necessitates change. American University and the law school reserve the right to change at any time, when warranted, any of the provisions, degree requirements, academic programs, schedules, rules, regulations, or tuition and fees, as might be required. Such changes or modifications shall be effective upon their promulgation by the duly constituted authority.
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.
The Washington College of Law became a professional division of American University in 1949 and is fully accredited. It is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is approved by the American Bar Association. In addition, the law school meets the requirements for preparation for the bar in all states and carries the certification of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, as well as the New York State Department of Education.