The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Externship Program, which enrolled its first class in January 2011, provides students with the opportunity to spend a semester in practice in the most diverse and vibrant legal environment in the world. Watch video highlights here.
Each student is expected to spend 35 hours per week interning in a government agency or non-governmental organization. In the past six years, students have worked in government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Agency for International Development, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Security and Exchange Commission, National Nuclear Security Administration, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau of DHS, the Administrative Conference of the US, the Consumer Financial Protection Board, the General Services Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, and the United States Court of Claims.
Non-profit office placements include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Republican National Committee, the American Land Title Association, the Center for International Environmental Law, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, National Public Radio, and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. Students may seek placements in these and in dozens, if not hundreds, of other agencies and non-profit groups.
Whatever the setting, students engage in the kinds of tasks performed by lawyers in Washington, under the immediate supervision of an experienced lawyer or lawyers in the particular office. As a part of their placements, students complete a reflective journal of three single-spaced pages each week describing their experiences. Students also complete a reflective paper at the end of their experiences.
Students enroll for 13 credits, which includes 10 credits for the field work and three graded credits for the classroom component.
In addition to this practice component, students attend a weekly class session, which explores issues common to the interns. The classes are taught by Adjunct Professor David J. Gottlieb, who organized the program and serves as the director. A copy of the syllabus for a recent class is below. Professor Gottlieb resides in Washington, and he stays in close contact with each of the students and their supervisors throughout the semester.
Students receive 10 pass-fail credits for the field-work component and three graded credits for the classroom component. Students who wish to enroll for an additional one or two credits may take directed research from Professor Gottlieb.
The program will be offered again in the spring of 2017. The Metropolitan Externship is open to third-year students in their final semester in 2017. Students arrange for their own housing, and the students who participated in the 2011-16 classes will have some helpful information on possibilities. We are also engaged ourselves in a process of identifying low-cost housing options. Enrollment instructions and application forms are available beginning today. The application for the externship will require a statement of interest, a description of the courses that you think have best prepared you for the program, a statement about your connections to D.C. and a resume. Professor Gottlieb, in consultation with members of the faculty, will review the applications and select from 12 to 14 students. We will make our selection based on the evidence of your interest in the opportunities that the program offers and of your ability to succeed in the program.
Those students who wish information about the program are welcome to contact Professor Gottlieb at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be an information session for prospective students that will be held at noon on Thursday, Feb. 25. Applications are due on Thursday, March 3, 2016. They should be submitted electronically to Professor Gottlieb.