2022-2023 WCL Catalog 
    Apr 13, 2024  
2022-2023 WCL Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LL.M. in Advocacy

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The LL.M. in Advocacy is a degree designed to provide opportunities for law graduates to enhance their legal advocacy skills in and out of the courtroom. A variety of courses are available to improve students’ technical trial skills, learn new litigation strategies and tools, strengthen persuasive abilities, and focus on the application of professional ethics in the pretrial and trial settings. Important focuses of the Advocacy program are the use of modern technology in litigation and the training of ethical trial lawyers. The LL.M. in Advocacy combines a rigorous academic component and a breadth of practical litigation training, including optional credits from writing projects, teaching opportunities, and practical exposure through externships. The LL.M. in Advocacy can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Students can tailor the experience to fit their individualized goals or select courses from one of the predetermined specializations in Civil Trial Advocacy, Criminal Trial Advocacy, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Environmental Litigation, or Labor and Employment Litigation.

LL.M Admissions

  • Hold a JD from a U.S. law school accredited by the 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.

More information about applying is available on the Office of Graduate Admissions website.

LL.M. In Advocacy Degree Requirements

  • Students must successfully complete 24 credit hours from the designated list of classes with a GPA of 2.0 (C) or better.
  • In the first semester, non-common law trained students must successfully complete American Legal Institutions (LAW-580-001; 2 credits) and Legal Research and Writing (LAW-580-002; 2 credits).
  • Before the end of the first semester of study, students must select one of the following graduation tracks:
    • Research Track: students must successfully complete two research papers of at least 3,500 words each that demonstrate a high degree of skill in legal scholarship and writing.
    • Practical Skills Track: students must successfully complete an externship for credit, and one research paper that demonstrates a high degree of skill in legal scholarship and writing.
  • The 24 credits needed for the LL.M. in Advocacy degree can be completed part-time, or full-time (two or three regular semesters). Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must be enrolled in at least eight credits during the fall and the spring, except for the last semester when students can take a reduced course load for one to seven credits. To take a reduced course load, the Reduced Course Load Authorization Form must be completed and submitted to the Office of International Studen and Scholar Services at isss@american.edu
  • Students may enroll in a maximum of 15 credits per semester (fall and spring), however, it is recommended that students take no more than 13 credits per semester. WCL allows up to seven credits in the summer.
  • LL.M. in Advocacy students may complete their degree requirements entirely by traditional classroom study or by classroom study combined with no more than eight semester hours of approved externship, independent study, and/or teaching assistant credits.
  • Absent extraordinary circumstances, students must complete the LL.M. in Advocacy degree within 60 months of matriculating in a given LL.M. program.

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