American University versus George Washington University


jc24
Hi,

I have been admitted to the LLM programs at both American University Washington College of Law (ILSP prog.) and George Washington University. I wish to specialise in International Human Rights Law. I’m finding it difficult to make a choice between the two. I’ve heard that the ILSP prog is very good, but overall GWU is ranked higher as a University. How much weight do rankings carry anyways? I’m confused and would really appreciate some help.

Hi,

I have been admitted to the LLM programs at both American University Washington College of Law (ILSP prog.) and George Washington University. I wish to specialise in International Human Rights Law. I’m finding it difficult to make a choice between the two. I’ve heard that the ILSP prog is very good, but overall GWU is ranked higher as a University. How much weight do rankings carry anyways? I’m confused and would really appreciate some help.
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jburns
If you want to specialize in int.'l human rights law you shouldn't be concerned about the rankings. The clinics, professors and human rights centers are what's important. I think American has a stronger human rights curriculum although GW has the more prestigious name and probably has some good curriculum. AU has good centers and programs for refugee law and international humanitarian law. Their women's rights program is supposed to be extremely strong. I doubt, if for example you were trying to get an internship with HRW or AI, that it would matter if you went to one over the other.

Congratulations on being admitted to both. Can you tell me when you were accepted to AU ILSP? I have also applied, am awaiting a decision, and intend on getting the HRs specialization. Thanks and good luck with your decision.
If you want to specialize in int.'l human rights law you shouldn't be concerned about the rankings. The clinics, professors and human rights centers are what's important. I think American has a stronger human rights curriculum although GW has the more prestigious name and probably has some good curriculum. AU has good centers and programs for refugee law and international humanitarian law. Their women's rights program is supposed to be extremely strong. I doubt, if for example you were trying to get an internship with HRW or AI, that it would matter if you went to one over the other.

Congratulations on being admitted to both. Can you tell me when you were accepted to AU ILSP? I have also applied, am awaiting a decision, and intend on getting the HRs specialization. Thanks and good luck with your decision.
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Roberto27
I don't know much about the HR specialization at either school; but i couldn't help but noticed that the Fulbright Committee in my Country (Dominican Republic) all the very often grants full scholarships to pursue a HR concentration at AU. If this highly-qualified board selects this Law School as the right one at which to entrust their brilliant students, it must be because AU stands out on this particular field of International Law. In addition, this very committee very frequently stresses that Ivy-leagues Universities do not absolutely offer the best specialized programs. I think both these Schools boast unbeatable location, achievements and committement to excellence in International Law. Take for example GWU HR Program in conjunction with Oxford Human Rights Center and First-American-Ever-International Court of Justice JudgeThomas Buergenthal Academic involvement as a Professor-Emeritus there. Therefore, i think you should think it up more carefully before arriving at a final decision.
I don't know much about the HR specialization at either school; but i couldn't help but noticed that the Fulbright Committee in my Country (Dominican Republic) all the very often grants full scholarships to pursue a HR concentration at AU. If this highly-qualified board selects this Law School as the right one at which to entrust their brilliant students, it must be because AU stands out on this particular field of International Law. In addition, this very committee very frequently stresses that Ivy-leagues Universities do not absolutely offer the best specialized programs. I think both these Schools boast unbeatable location, achievements and committement to excellence in International Law. Take for example GWU HR Program in conjunction with Oxford Human Rights Center and First-American-Ever-International Court of Justice JudgeThomas Buergenthal Academic involvement as a Professor-Emeritus there. Therefore, i think you should think it up more carefully before arriving at a final decision.
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jc24
Hey thanks a lot. It was so nice of both of you to share your perspectives. Very helpful. As to j’s question, I got to know my admissions decision in February. All the best with your application. And both of you, thanks again.
Hey thanks a lot. It was so nice of both of you to share your perspectives. Very helpful. As to j’s question, I got to know my admissions decision in February. All the best with your application. And both of you, thanks again.
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Roberto27
All the best for you, too!!
All the best for you, too!!
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schnauzer
Congratulations!
If you have the $8000+ to spend at the Oxford H.R. summer, go for that. If not, G.W. is still substantially higher in the rankings and is reputable for international law; also offers other H.R. courses...I might be there myself in international next year, though still waiting to hear back from a few.
Congratulations!
If you have the $8000+ to spend at the Oxford H.R. summer, go for that. If not, G.W. is still substantially higher in the rankings and is reputable for international law; also offers other H.R. courses...I might be there myself in international next year, though still waiting to hear back from a few.
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jc24
Thanks droit.est... There's just so many factors involved in making a decision. It's quite maddening! Even I'm waiting to hear from a few other places. I had applied for both LLM programs and MAs in International development/int.relns. But now I'm not that sure anymore that I would be comfortable moving away from law, alhough I'm keenly interested in international development where having a multidisciplinary background is helpful. Let's see. Anyways, thanks a lot.
Thanks droit.est... There's just so many factors involved in making a decision. It's quite maddening! Even I'm waiting to hear from a few other places. I had applied for both LLM programs and MAs in International development/int.relns. But now I'm not that sure anymore that I would be comfortable moving away from law, alhough I'm keenly interested in international development where having a multidisciplinary background is helpful. Let's see. Anyways, thanks a lot.
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schnauzer
No problem jc. Interdisciplinary studies never hurt! Hope it all works out for you, Cheers!
No problem jc. Interdisciplinary studies never hurt! Hope it all works out for you, Cheers!
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jburns
Hey remember that most LL.M. IL programs, upon approval, will let you take a couple courses from their graduate international relations/polisci program, so you don't necessarily need to sacrifice IR study if you decide to do the LL.M.
Hey remember that most LL.M. IL programs, upon approval, will let you take a couple courses from their graduate international relations/polisci program, so you don't necessarily need to sacrifice IR study if you decide to do the LL.M.
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jc24
Hey droit, hope it all works out for you as well. :)Thanks J. I had no idea they let you take courses from other programs. I’m from India and while we have excellent graduate programs here, course structures are usually quite rigid. Have you heard from wcl? If not, perhaps you could mail them. I’ve seen that Universities usually respond letting you know when you can expect to hear from them.
Hey droit, hope it all works out for you as well. :)Thanks J. I had no idea they let you take courses from other programs. I’m from India and while we have excellent graduate programs here, course structures are usually quite rigid. Have you heard from wcl? If not, perhaps you could mail them. I’ve seen that Universities usually respond letting you know when you can expect to hear from them.
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dcllm
You absolutely cannot go wrong with American. The ILSP is very well respected and internationally recognized. Furthermore, the dean of the law school is internationally renowned. Take a look at Dean Grossman's bio on the law school's website -- it says it all!
You absolutely cannot go wrong with American. The ILSP is very well respected and internationally recognized. Furthermore, the dean of the law school is internationally renowned. Take a look at Dean Grossman's bio on the law school's website -- it says it all!
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jc24
Thanks dc. Just looked up Dean Grossmans bio. Impressive. Are you considering ILSP as well?
Thanks dc. Just looked up Dean Grossman’s bio. Impressive. Are you considering ILSP as well?
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schnauzer
Been checking these boards way too often. Until I hear from all the schools, this is pretty much the best resource I can find.
I admit I am slanted towards G.W. but justifiably, because my view is based primarily on these facts:
American is #47 v. G.W is #20

American LSAT 159-62 v. G.W. LSAT 162-66

GPA stats:
G.W.: http://www.law.gwu.edu/Admissions/JD+Admissions/profile.htm
American:
http://www.wcl.american.edu/admiss/profile.cfm
Who's higher? (I'll save you the trouble, G.W.)

International Ties:
G.W. has Oxford v. American has Hull

G.W. has over 40 international courses offered, the H.R. clinic (and other clinics), a number of other H.R. courses. International Law review, etc. see:
http://www.law.gwu.edu/Academics/Academic+Focus+Areas/International+and+Comparative+Law/

v. American ISLP program:
http://www.wcl.american.edu/ilsp/
Anything else there?

Location:
D.C. v. D.C.

Hope this helps...
Been checking these boards way too often. Until I hear from all the schools, this is pretty much the best resource I can find.
I admit I am slanted towards G.W. but justifiably, because my view is based primarily on these facts:
American is #47 v. G.W is #20

American LSAT 159-62 v. G.W. LSAT 162-66

GPA stats:
G.W.: http://www.law.gwu.edu/Admissions/JD+Admissions/profile.htm
American:
http://www.wcl.american.edu/admiss/profile.cfm
Who's higher? (I'll save you the trouble, G.W.)

International Ties:
G.W. has Oxford v. American has Hull

G.W. has over 40 international courses offered, the H.R. clinic (and other clinics), a number of other H.R. courses. International Law review, etc. see:
http://www.law.gwu.edu/Academics/Academic+Focus+Areas/International+and+Comparative+Law/

v. American ISLP program:
http://www.wcl.american.edu/ilsp/
Anything else there?

Location:
D.C. v. D.C.

Hope this helps...
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jc24
Thanks a lot Droit. Very helpful indeed. I have some facts and impressions to share as well. In AUAP LLM rankings, American is ranked 13th and GW is not in the top 20. But then again overall as a law school, GW is ranked higher as you point out and is generally considered more prestigious from what I could gather from talking to people and reading up. However the ILSP program is considered to be one of the best international law programs, in fact, in one posting on this website I had read that it is among the top five such programs in the US.Then again I've heard in a general conversation (so this might not be accurate) that the library facilities (so imp. in a post-graduate course) are better in GW than in American. I'll try and confirm this and let you know. Given that the confusion continues, it might well be that the financial aspect will be the deciding factor for me. Till later then...
Thanks a lot Droit. Very helpful indeed. I have some facts and impressions to share as well. In AUAP LLM rankings, American is ranked 13th and GW is not in the top 20. But then again overall as a law school, GW is ranked higher as you point out and is generally considered more prestigious from what I could gather from talking to people and reading up. However the ILSP program is considered to be one of the best international law programs, in fact, in one posting on this website I had read that it is among the top five such programs in the US.Then again I've heard in a general conversation (so this might not be accurate) that the library facilities (so imp. in a post-graduate course) are better in GW than in American. I'll try and confirm this and let you know. Given that the confusion continues, it might well be that the financial aspect will be the deciding factor for me. Till later then...
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schnauzer
Sure thing, jc. I don't know for sure how much weight AUAP holds internationally, but I'm presently studying in the U.S. (though have also studied in the U.K. and Austria) and the factors above are what most American employers will look at. Most Americans don't even know about AUAP as it's only for international students. If you want to stay in the U.S. to practice then I would say G.W. is the way to go. Otherwise, maybe AU is better for you.

As for libraries, my wife and I are in GA right now and there's a reciprocity between Georgia State, Emory, and UGA between law libraries that we use all the time. So you may want to look into that because D.C.might have the same arrangement between law schools. Let me know what you find out.

Though it's all really just opinion.
Sure thing, jc. I don't know for sure how much weight AUAP holds internationally, but I'm presently studying in the U.S. (though have also studied in the U.K. and Austria) and the factors above are what most American employers will look at. Most Americans don't even know about AUAP as it's only for international students. If you want to stay in the U.S. to practice then I would say G.W. is the way to go. Otherwise, maybe AU is better for you.

As for libraries, my wife and I are in GA right now and there's a reciprocity between Georgia State, Emory, and UGA between law libraries that we use all the time. So you may want to look into that because D.C.might have the same arrangement between law schools. Let me know what you find out.

Though it's all really just opinion.
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