LLM in Law and Government
Specialization in Gender and Law

Champion Women's Rights

Defending women’s rights requires a commitment to justice, creative approaches to the law and specialized knowledge of the legal challenges facing women. American University Washington College of Law is a leading center for feminist legal scholarship and teaching. Our Program on Law and Government offers the only LLM degree focused on women’s rights in the United States. This advanced legal degree program offers holders of JD or LLB degrees the opportunity to study subjects that deeply impact the lives of women, yet which are often overlooked in law school: reproductive rights; the relationship of the family to the state; labor and employment; work and family; civil rights of women; domestic violence; sexuality; health law and policy; bioethics; and women’s human rights.

Building an Advocates Resume

Do you need to learn new substantive areas of law to become an advocate for women’s civil and constitutional rights? Are you missing that great writing sample that shows that you are both an excellent writer and committed advocate for gender equality? Do you need to build contacts and a resume that indicates an interest in working on the issues that affect women? Women’s advocacy organizations, government agencies, and family, civil rights, and employment law firms look for candidates with strong academic qualifications and excellent writing skills. They also look for candidates with resumes that indicate a commitment to women’s rights.

Preparing for Practice

We have designed the LLM in Law and Government Specialization in Gender and Law for students who want to use their law degrees to advocate for women’s rights. Our location in Washington, D.C., means that students have the opportunity to extern at local, national and international women’s rights organizations, as well as government agencies. Externships for academic credit provide our LLM students with valuable contacts and experience that prepare them for practice. All of our students write highquality papers that highlight their legal and analytical skills, as well as their engagement with feminist theory.

The Program

LLM students complete 24 credits, with 12 of those credits in courses focused on gender and law theory and doctrine. Our faculty members teach both basic and advanced courses in gender and law, and integrate gender into the study of many substantive areas of law, ranging from employment law to tax policy. While many schools offer a few classes in discrimination, Washington College of Law offers an extraordinary number of classes that address the interaction of gender and law in depth, including:

  • Feminist Jurisprudence [required]
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Health Law
  • Advanced Legal Writing: Gender & the Law
  • Gender, Inequality & the State
  • Immigrant Women: Law & Policy
  • Employment Law: Work, Family & Equality
  • Employment & Labor Law: Employment Relationship
  • Sex-based Discrimination
  • Gender & the Law
  • Advanced Criminal Law: Women, Crime & the Law
  • Disability & the Law
  • International Trafficking in Persons
  • Gender, Labor & the Global Economy
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexuality & the Law
  • Family Law
  • Advanced Family Law:Theory & Policy
  • Comparative Family Law
  • Family Law: Children of LGBT Parents
  • Adoption Law
  • Gender & Health Law & Policy
  • Women’s Legal History

Studying at Washington College of Law

The first U.S. law school founded by women, Washington College of Law has been committed to the advancement of women’s rights for over 100 years. To honor that legacy, the school formed the Women and the Law Program in 1984. The mission of the Women and the Law Program is to integrate gender and the concerns of women into legal education and doctrine. The program fosters a vibrant feminist community at Washington College of Law, where students and professors participate in conferences on emerging issues in feminist legal thought, engage guest speakers in lively discussion, and publish scholarship on the issues that affect women’s lives.

The Program on Law and Government works to transcend the traditional barriers that divide the study of administrative law, specific fields of regulatory law and policy, and constitutional law and civil rights. The Program on Law and Government and the Women and the Law Program work together to help each Gender and Law LLM specialist select courses, make contact with faculty who work in their area of interest, and secure externships.

LL.M. Admissions Information

  • Applicants must have completed a law degree at a U.S. law school accredited by the American Bar Association, or at a foreign law school with equivalent standards.
  • Submit a completed application form along with supporting materials before the application deadline.
  • Admission is based on high achievement in law school (based on a transcript and resume), any professional experiences since law school, writing skills, and demonstrated interest in U.S. law and government.
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. If you have received an offer of admission from another school before receiving a decision from the Program, please contact Hilary Lappin, Assistant Director of Admissions and Special Projects, and the Program will expedite review of your application.

For more information and to apply online, visit the Program on Law and Government's website.