This dual degree program is offered jointly by the Washington College of Law and the Université Paris Nanterre in Paris, France. Students enrolled in the Program will have the opportunity to study law for two years at WCL and two years at Nanterre. Upon the completion of their studies, students will obtain a JD degree from WCL, and a Master I (JD equivalent) and a Master II in any of the subject areas offered by Nanterre.
Each year WCL will select up to four (4) students to enroll in this program. Students enrolled in the JD/Master I/Master II will be prepared to understand and work in the continental legal system used in most of Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Participants will not only be trained in the common law (U.S. legal system) and civil law tradition (continental legal system), they will also be immersed in two diverse cultures, study in two languages, and will gain an understanding of the systems from the perspective of local practitioners.
Graduates from this program will have full understanding of the law as developed and practiced both in the United States and in France. They will also be prepared to work in different legal areas in both countries, and potentially in other countries of the European Union.
Who Can Apply?
- Students must be admitted to WCL’s regular JD program before applying to any international JD dual degree program.
- Students with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
- 1L students. 2Ls may be eligible. (See program staff if interested.)
- JD students who are not US citizens should meet with program staff prior to applying.
- Students must be bilingual (French and English) with excellent written and oral skills.
- Personal interviews will take place during the application process in both English and French.
- Part-time students?
- A part-time student may apply as long as he/she changes his/her registration to full time and completes the required 59 credits, including required courses, prior to leaving Washington, D.C. Classes completed during the summer contribute to this total.
- Transfer students?
- Transfer students must complete 43 WCL credits as well as two-thirds (2/3) of their legal education in the United States, therefore, transfer students would be able to participate only if they are willing to complete additional credits (approximately one semester’s worth) at WCL. Transfer students must consult with a program staff member before applying.
- All students are required to attend a mandatory advising session before their application will be considered complete.
- Online application due 5:00 pm EST January 31 includes:
- Application form
- Statement of interest in English (one - two pages maximum)
- Statement of interest in French (one- two pages maximum)
- Current resume
- One letter of recommendation (professional or academic reference preferred)
- WCL academic transcript
- Copy of passport
- French language proficiency:
- Students should possess at least a B2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. However, we do recommend a C1 level for optimal success in the program. Please use the CEFR self-assessment grid to determine your proficiency level.
- If you self-assess at the B2 level or above, please provide evidence of your proficiency by one of the following methods:
- Students who possess an undergraduate or graduate degree in French may upload a PDF of their degree AND transcript(s) if the degree or certificate was obtained within the last five years.
- Students who do not possess a degree in French may take a language proficiency exam and upload a PDF of the results. Example exams include:
- Students who are unsure if their language abilities are proficient for the Dual Degree Program or who have further questions about the proficiency requirements should meet with a representative at the WCL Abroad office to discuss further options.
- Panel interviews in English take place in February
- Panel interviews in French take place late February or early March
- Decisions sent mid-March
- Deadline to submit all materials is 5:00pm EST on January 31st of each year.
Please note courses at Nanterre are subject to change.
Each year, WCL selects up to four students for the program. Students complete the first two years at WCL followed by two years at Université Paris Nanterre. WCL may also select up to two students to participate in the Droit Comparé Master I program for a one year program at Université Paris Nanterre. The Comparative Law program is offered in coordination with both ENS and EHESS.
Two Year Dual Degree General Requirements
- At WCL:
- Students must complete at least 59 credits before going abroad, including all WCL/ABA required courses (Upper Level Writing, Experiential Learning, and any others implemented); we recommend that students complete at least 62 credits before going abroad
- Students must meet WCL residency requirements
- As a 2L, students must take the Principles of French Law class (LAW-795FL) at WCL in French, generally offered in the Spring term.
- At Nanterre:
- First Year:
- Students may choose any of the Master I’s offered. Current offerings are Droit des Affaires, Droit International et Européen, Droit Public, Droit Privé et Sciences Criminelles, Droit Social, Droit et Économie and Comparative Analysis of Law (in partnership with the Ecole Normale Supérieur). Each semester comprises 30 ECTS credits.
- Second Year:
- Students may choose any of the 13 Master II specializations offered.
- The Master II program includes an internship in a law firm or similar company. Students not only specialize in a particular area, but also gain beneficial experience and network locally.
- Upon successful completion of both the WCL and Nanterre components, students earn the J.D. degree from WCL and a Master I (JD equivalent) and a Master II (specialization) from Nanterre.
Droit Comparé Master I Program General Requirements
- WCL students shall complete the program by:
- Completing at least 62 credits before going abroad, including all WCL/ABA required courses (Upper Level Writing, Experiential Learning, and any others implemented) and then complete one (1) year in the Nanterre Droit Comparé Master 1 program in France.
- At Nanterre:
- Students will enroll in courses equivalent to a regular full-time load at Nanterre.
- Students will complete a one (1) year Droite Comparé Master 1 Program with Nanterre.
Both on and off campus housing is available for this program. Information on both types of housing can be found on the Nanterre housing website: follow the links to on campus housing and off campus housing for additional information. The housing website also includes estimated housing costs and the sizes of rooms available.
Nanterre is located in the suburbs of Paris in the La Défense business district, Europe's largest business district. Unlike many other French universities with small, urban campuses, Nanterre's campus is designed following the American campus style and is the second largest university campus in France.
Students interested in the International JD Dual Degree Program should refer to the International JD Dual Degree FAQs page for general questions.
All other questions and concerns should be directed to WCL Abroad:
American University Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Suite Y360
Washington, DC, 20016 USA
Telephone: (202) 274-4228
Professor of Law
Professor of Law
Faculty Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic
**CURRENT 2L STUDENTS PLANNING TO GO ABROAD FROM 2019-2020, SELECT THE APPLICATION DISPLAYING THE YEARS 2019-2020**