Welcome to the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law). The District’s only public law school, UDC Law’s organizing mission is to provide a comprehensive, practical legal education to law students while providing critical legal services to low-income District residents. Our law school places special emphasis on recruiting and training students from communities underrepresented at the bar. Together, our community of gifted faculty, dedicated staff, and engaged students are united by a common purpose, to “Practice Law. Promote Justice. Change Lives.”
Founded in 1972 as the Antioch School of Law by civil rights lawyers Edgar S. and Jean Camper Cahn on the model of a “neighborhood law firm” in which students gain hands-on training by providing much-needed legal services to the poor, the Cahns’ pioneering vision has transformed legal education forever. Nearly fifty years later, clinical legal education has emerged as a core feature of every law school in the country.
Consistently ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, our Clinical Program remains the cornerstone of our curriculum and the largest clinical requirement of any law school. Students benefit from hands-on training by nationally recognized clinical faculty, and experiential learning is integrated across the law school curriculum alongside a robust set of experiential program offerings including community service placement, funded summer fellowships, guided externships, and service-learning trips. Each year, through our clinical and experiential programs, our students and faculty provide over 100,000 hours of legal services to D.C. residents in need.
With tuition rates a fraction of the cost of other law schools, a part-time evening program, and a generous set of financial aid, scholarship, and fellowship programs, UDC Law offers students an award-winning legal education in public interest practice without the burden of unmanageable student debt. Graduating with less debt allows students to pursue public interest and government after graduation, and indeed they have, with The National Law Journal ranking UDC Law No. 2 nationally for public interest and government job placement.
In the decades since its founding, UDC Law has trained thousands of students while providing life-saving legal services to countless low-income District residents. As Dean of UDC Law, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this historic institution, and I encourage you to visit our campus to experience our remarkable community.
Renée McDonald Hutchins
Dean and Professor of Law