Overview of Career Services and Howard University School of Law

Office of Career Service - Guide for Recruiters

Founded in 1869, the Howard University School of Law ranks among the nation’s senior institutions for legal education. With its state-of-the-art new law library and experienced and dedicated faculty and administrators, Howard University School of Law prepares students for the bar requirements in all states and the District of Columbia. The school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is an active member of the Association of American Law Schools.

Academic Programs and Degrees

Our broad-based program of study includes a basic 3-year program, leading to the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.); a 4-year program offered in conjunction with the School of Business Administration, leading to a joint J.D./M.B.A.; and a program for graduates of foreign law schools, leading to a Master of Law in Comparative Law (LL.M.).


The 33 full-time and 25 adjunct members of the law faculty compose a distinguished body of scholars who were carefully recruited for their specific areas of expertise. With advanced credentials from such prestigious institutions as Harvard, Yale, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Howard, University of Michigan, and Georgetown, faculty members actively engage students in a variety of challenging classroom and clinical experiences.

Student Profile

A total of 450 full-time students, who represent 12 countries, 45 states, and over 120 undergraduate institutions, are enrolled in the law school. The student body represents a broad spectrum of educational backgrounds, interests, skills, and outstanding scholastic aptitudes. The school also consists of 90 percent minority students and 65 percent women.

Grading System

The law school uses the following system for final grades:

  • 90-100=A
  • 80-89=B
  • 70-79=C
  • 60-69=D
  • 50-59=F

At the end of each semester, a cumulative weighted grade point average (GPA) is computed and expressed in numerical terms and is the basis for each student’s academic status. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 70.0, plus other requirements, to receive the J.D. degree. Student ranks, computed annually, may vary each year depending on the highest GPA of the class. Small differences in GPAs can result in a wide variation of class rankings.

Merit Scholarships

Merit scholarships are used as an aid in recruiting students who show strong promise and potential for law school study, as reflected by their undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores. Renewable grants are awarded to students who meet applicable standards (an 80.0 GPA or better, or a ranking in the top 50 percent of his or her class). Nonrenewable grants, from un-guaranteed funding sources, are awarded to applicants on the basis of their law school performance.

Howard Law Journal

Membership on the Howard Law Journal, a legal periodical published three times per year, is one of the highest honors at Howard. Each year, the Journal selects 20-25 new members from the first-year class. Selections are based on a writing competition. The writing competition is open to all students completing their first year in the top 25 percent of their class, as measured by cumulative GPA. Journal membership is for a term of 2 academic years, the second and third years of a student’s enrollment. During their time on the Journal, members are responsible for technical and substantive editing of manuscripts. The Journal also contains an academic component. Students receive four academic credits for their work on the Journal, while editorial board members may receive up to six academic credits. Journal members are also required to write a note or comment of “publishable quality,” on which they are graded. Members must maintain a cumulative GPA of 85 for each semester of Journal membership.

The Howard Scroll: The Social Justice Law Review

The Howard Scroll: The Social Justice Law Review, is a student-edited law review. The purpose of The Howard Scroll coincides with that of Howard University School of Law: to provide a fertile academic environment that challenges and encourages students to look beyond academia to examine the effects and implications of the law in the community. The Howard Scroll is distributed to more than 150 law schools in the United States and Canada, and it is accessible through Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis.

Charles Hamilton Houston National Moot Court Team

The Charles Hamilton Houston National Moot Court Team, a student-governed organization, participates in selected national competitions and sponsors an intramural competition in an appellate advocacy setting. Students are selected for participation on the moot court team on the basis of a written brief and oral arguments. In recent years, student members of the moot court team have won or have placed high in several national competitions in the following legal fields: constitutional law, juvenile law, family law, product liability, criminal law, copyrights, sports and entertainment, and securities regulation.

Huver I. Brown National Trial Advocacy Team

The trial advocacy program at Howard University School of Law introduces students to the structure of the trial process, as well as to personal training in trial skills. The team consistently places in national competitions. In 1999, the team became the first from a historically black institution to win the invitational tournament title for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Tournament of Champions Moot Court Competition. The NITA competition is the most highly regarded competition for student trial lawyers.

Clinical Programs

The law school’s clinical courses are offered through the Clinical Law Center (CLC). The primary goal of the CLC is to provide high quality training that teaches students the skills necessary for the effective practice of law. Students learn through experience, and they gain an ancillary benefit of providing assistance to the poor and the underrepresented of the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The CLC offers two in-house clinical experiences with actual clients: the Criminal Justice Clinic and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic. Additionally, through the CLC, students may enroll in the Externship Program and the D.C. Law Students in Court Program, a clinical course offered through a consortium of local area law schools.

Students Associations

Co-curricular activities play a vital role at Howard University School of Law. The Student Bar Association is the umbrella organization representing all students and student organizations. In addition, each class has its own governing body. Two legal journals and two moot court teams enhance our academic program. Students also write articles for The Barrister, the student newspaper.

Some other student organizations are:

  • American Bar Association, Student Division
  • Amnesty International
  • Asian Pacific-American Law Students Association
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Business Entrepreneur Law Association
  • Christian Legal Education
  • International Law Society
  • International Moot Court Team
  • La Alianza (for Hispanic students)
  • Organization of Women in Law
  • OUTLAW (for lesbian and gay students)
  • Public Interest Law Society
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Association

The Office of Career Services

A major goal of the Office of Career Services is to effectively serve employers’ hiring needs through a combination of professional rigor and personal concern that is the basis of successful hiring. To match an employer’s needs with qualified applicants, the Office of Career Services takes great care in assessing the individual candidate’s skills, background, and career plans. The office also develops comprehensive information on the special needs of the employers participating in the programs.

The law school’s services to employers are described below. Employers requiring additional information or assistance can contact the Office of Career Services. A staff member will be available to provide further details and respond to specific inquiries.

On-Campus Recruitment Programs

The fall On-Campus Interview Program begins in September and continues through October. The Public Interest/Public Service Recruitment Program is held in February. The spring On-Campus Interview Program is held each March. These three programs are an ideal time to interview first-year students. Employers are encouraged to visit the campus to interview students through these programs or at any other time during the academic year. Reservations for an interview date must be mailed or faxed to the Office of Career Services. Employers are required to submit at least five sets of literature describing the organization, along with completed National Association for Law Placement (NALP) data forms.

Resumes will be collected and forwarded 2 weeks before the interview date. Employers may prescreen resumes. To allow adequate scheduling time, they should submit a list of candidates to the Office of Career Services one week before the interview date.

Normally, interviews are scheduled weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Half-day interviews, however, are permitted. In addition, we will accommodate employers who wish to begin their schedules earlier or continue interviews beyond 5:00 p.m.

Resume Collection Services and Direct Receipt of Applications

To assist those employers unable to visit the campus to conduct interviews, the Office of Career Services can arrange resume collection services. We will collect resumes, arrange a mailing date, and forward the resume packet to prospective employers. Alternatively, employers may request that students send resumes directly to them.

Job Listings

Employers unable to visit the Howard Law campus can notify the Office of Career Services of job opportunities for interested students or graduates. For 3 months or until the positions are filled, job listings will be posted for students and graduates. Employers may mail or fax such listings to us and should provide the employer’s name, address, and phone number; the job title; a brief description of the practice; a job description; application procedures; salary information; hiring criteria; and the name and title of the contact person. Job listings may also be emailed to Neil.Dennis@law.howard.edu. Listings for full-time employment can be placed free of charge in the monthly Alumni Job Bulletin. Blind listings will also be accepted.

Alumni Job Bulletin

Job vacancy announcements for entry level or experienced attorneys may be listed, free of charge, in the Alumni Job Bulletin, which is published monthly and sent to law graduates seeking employment or career changes. This employment service has been very successful in helping recruiters locate outstanding candidates.

Judicial Clerks

Employers may obtain lists of recent graduates who are completing judicial clerkships. During a typical year, approximately 10 to 15 percent of our new graduates accept judicial clerk positions.

Employer Information Sessions

If an organization would like to conduct an information session to discuss its practice and job opportunities, the Office of Career Services will make the necessary arrangements.

Employer Receptions

The Office of Career Services coordinates receptions for prospective employers during the academic year. These events provide an excellent opportunity for Howard Law School students to become better acquainted with an employer’s practice or business, and for employers to meet highly qualified candidates.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Howard University School of Law is committed to a policy against discrimination in the interviewing or employment of its students based on race, sex, religious creed, marital status, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, handicap, or political affiliation.

Location of the Howard University School of Law

The law school is situated three blocks from the UDC/Van Ness metro station (subway) and is on Howard University’s West Campus in upper northwest Washington, D.C. Go to the Office of Career Services link at www.law.howard.edu for a campus map and driving directions.