Externship on the Federal Government: Semester in Washington, D.C.

Spend a semester in Washington DC with the Externship on the Federal Government in Washington, DC (the “DC Externship”). DC externs earn academic credit while working full-time under the supervision of an attorney within the federal government or within a DC-based not-for-profit that interacts with the federal government. Students have worked in the White House, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Education, Department of Labor, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Patent and Trademark Office, the Senate Judiciary Committee, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Earthjustice. 

In addition to working full time, DC Externs engage in a weekly seminar featuring off the record conversations with attorneys who work in the White House, on Capitol Hill, at agencies, non-profits, and in government relation offices at Fortune 500 companies. Students also take an ethics course and engage in several reflection sessions. 


Open to enrolled and transfer third-year J.D. candidates in the fall semester and second- and third-year J.D. candidates in the spring by application only. Externs apply to the externship and also apply directly to participating federal government law offices or Washington, D.C.-based nonprofits on a guided basis. Up to 15 students will be selected. Ejaz Baluch and Natasha Harnwell-Davis, Lecturers in Law, will facilitate placements and provide term-time counseling.

The deadline for application to the Fall 2024 Externship on the Federal Government is March 1, 2024 by 5:00 pm. Applications after this deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Interested students should review the linked attachment and submit an application as soon as possible by emailing [email protected] and [email protected] a single PDF containing a statement of interest discussing the interest in the program and resume. 

NOTE that placements in federal agencies often have earlier application deadlines before the externship deadline. 

Mandatory Components 

Students have four core components for a total of 12 credits. (1) Intensive Seminar on Ethics in the Federal Government (2 graded academic credits). (2) Weekly Evening Seminar on Federal Government Lawyering (3 graded academic credits); (3) Field Placements (8 ungraded clinical credits); (4) Experiential Learning Component (ungraded).

Please read the linked PDF for additional information.

Download Attachment