Howard University (School of Law)

Howard University School of Law opened its doors in 1869 during a time of dramatic change in the United States. There was a great need to train lawyers who would have a strong commitment to helping black Americans secure and protect their newly established rights. In the 20th century, it became not only a school, but also the embodiment of legal activism. It emerged as a "clinic" on justice and injustice in America, as well as a clearinghouse for information about the civil rights struggle. Today, as we have for the past 135 years, we are continuing the legacy as we build toward the future.

Our diverse student body contributes to our unique atmosphere. Approximately 65 percent of our students are women and 90 percent are minority, reflecting the changing demographics in the world in which we live. Students come from more than 45 states, more than 12 foreign countries, and more than 77 undergraduate
institutions. Our students of various ages bring a wealth of education and experience and will be equipped and ready to build the future.

We are justifiably proud of our association with this great institution that has done so much to advance the cause of civil rights and social justice in this nation and around the world. This is an exciting time to be a student, professor, alumnus, staff member, or friend of the Law School. The new, state of the art Law Library is now open to serve you. This magnificent building is an architectural masterpiece and informational powerhouse offering unparalleled research and learning opportunities. We also have remodeled and smart wired several of our classrooms to incorporate emerging information technologies and to exploit the potential of the Internet. Additionally, every member of the faculty now has his or her own website which enhances the quality of the learning experience by making it easier for students and faculty to communicate outside the classroom. In virtually every way, this law school is using technology to continue its tradition of providing “Leadership for America and a Global Community.”

The faculty and administration of the Howard University School of Law remain as committed as ever to providing Howard law students with the finest legal education available and to preparing the next generation of leaders. We have an exceptionally talented faculty and student body, and thousands of alumni who are already making significant contributions to the legal profession and to their communities all across the nation. It is my policy to communicate with the Law School’s stakeholders on a regular basis. You can always access important communications from the Administration by clicking here. And, of course, I am always interested in your comments and suggestions; so do not hestitate to let me know what you think of the Law School’s website, the new Law Library, the new Law School Admissions Brochure, the Dean’s Lecture Series, the latest volume of the Howard Law Journal, the Law School’s Brown@50 Commemoration, the amicus curiae brief prepared by members of the law faculty and student body and submitted to the United States Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger, et al., the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action case, or the new Bar Exam Resources website created to maximize our law students’s success on state bar examinations.

The law school is located on its own 22-acre campus in the northwest part of the city approximately five miles from the main campus. Houston Hall, named for the famous civil rights lawyer and strategist Charles Hamilton Houston, is the main academic and administrative building. Notre Dame Hall houses the Career Services Office, the Clinical Law Center, and the offices for major student organizations, including the Howard Law Journal, the national and international moot court teams, the Student Bar Association, and a student newspaper titled The New Barrister. Holy Cross Hall houses the Office of Admissions, Office of Recording, Office of Financial Aid, several seminar rooms and smaller classrooms, and the law school’s bookstore.

The law school’s location in the nation’s capitol provides an excellent environment for students to pursue the study of law. Our location in Washington provides convenient access to the extensive DC court system and many of the city’s cultural and historical institutions. Our campus is easily accessible by public transportation and major thoroughfares. It is located approximately two blocks from the Van Ness Metro (subway) Station and is conveniently served by several metropolitan bus routes.

Howard University School of Law offers the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, plus a joint degree program that offers a J.D. degree in conjunction with a Master's of Business Administration (J.D./M.B.A.). The law school also offers a Master's of Law (LL.M.) in Comparative Law, which is designed to introduce those lawyers who have received law degrees from universities outside the United States to the American legal system.

The Juris Doctor is the primary professional degree offered by Howard University School of Law. Our law school shapes its curriculum to meet the diverse career goals and intellectual interests of our students within the traditional educational preparation for practicing law. Students who wish to emphasize or specialize in a particular area of law can choose electives from a broad range of courses. Course offerings are listed in the curriculum section of this brochure and also on
our Web site. The law school also offers clinical and
internship programs to give law students an opportunity to earn academic credit while gaining practical experience.
Three years of full-time study are generally required to
complete the J.D. degree. Our J.D. degree is designed to
prepare students for positions of leadership for America and the global community.

Howard law students interact with faculty, alumni, other
students, and a cadre of professional lecturers and
leaders in the law-from judges on the Supreme Court to
judges on lower circuits, attorneys general, rosecutors,
and corporate attorneys. All of the lecturers bring a wealth of knowledge and information to the students, which helps to expand their realm of knowledge and experience.

Co-curricular activities play a vital role in the life of our law school, particularly in the students' life. Not only are there opportunities for all to participate in student organizations, but also opportunities abound for gaining hands-on practical experience through our oral advocacy and student publication programs.

Diversity in our law school community is apparent not only in the range of faculty interests and experiences, but also in the Juris Doctor courses, writing programs, seminars, and clinical offerings. Students at Howard University School of Law may select courses that reflect the range of issues to be found in the international arena, federal agencies, corporate boardrooms, public interest organizations, private law firms, and judicial chambers. Students also may decide to study abroad in one of Howard's international study programs, which are conducted in South Africa and
Jamaica. Whatever field of law they ultimately choose, students are prepared through an extensive selection of courses.

The School of Law offers several courses in many specialized areas, including civil litigation, equal employment law, family and personal law, international law, labor and employment law, public interest law, sports and entertainment law, tax law, and many others. Although courses are subject to change from year to year, most courses will be offered at least once during
the academic year. Please visit the law school's Web site for detailed descriptions of our complete course offerings, course requirements such as Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Law II and Legal Writing III for second and third years students, and other curriculum information.

Clinical education at Howard University School of Law has long been an important part of the curriculum because Howard has a long history of engaging its students in real-life legal issues and litigation, which are a central feature of law school clinical programs. Beginning with its legacy of legal activism in the civil rights cases in the early 20th century and culminating in the work of its faculty, students, and alumni in Brown v. Board of Education, Bolling v. Sharpe, and other civil rights cases, Howard's clinical education provided students with the substantive legal knowledge, skills,
and client-centered focus that are necessary for developing and training outstanding social justice

Our Clinical Law Center clinics and programs provide an exceptional, innovative, and wide range course of training. The model is one of learning through hands-on experience, coursework, reflection, and intellectual excellence, with a central goal to provide high-quality legal assistance to the underserved and underrepresented communities of the District of Columbia's greater metropolitan area.

As repositories of knowledge and as places to learn,
libraries are central to a university's mission. In May 2001, Howard University School of Law's Library moved into its new state-of-the-art facility. The four-story, 76,000-square-foot building provides space for a book collection of up to 215,000 volumes and can seat more than 295 students (more than 70 percent of the student population), with 90 open carrels. The
library also has large microfilm and audiovisual facilities and three distinctive rooms of wood and brick for special collections, newspaper and periodical reading, and a rare book collection.

The library is organized around the second-floor, triple-height Main Reading Room, which has wireless access to the Internet and faces the new courtyard and the existing Holy Cross Hall to the south. The tall windows of this 4,000-squarefoot space give views onto the landscaped courtyard and celebrate the display of readers and books to the campus.
The Main Reading Room provides table and lounge seating for 80 students as well as our 2,000-volume reference collection.

School name:Howard UniversitySchool of Law
Address:2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Zip & city:D.C. 20008 District of Columbia

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