Select third-year law students spend their final semester in Washington, D.C., as public interest interns with nonprofit corporations or federal agencies. Exposure to public law in this setting and the expanded public interest opportunities are key features of this new externship program.
This program creates a valuable bridge in the transition from law student to practicing lawyer. With developed professional skills and a network built in the final law school semester, students will broaden their employment opportunities.
The core of the Washington Public Interest Program is a semester-long internship in Washington, D.C., coupled with an on-site seminar on lawyering in the public interest. This skills-based capstone program allows students committed to public interest legal careers to gain hands-on experience and connect with potential employers in desirable public interest careers.
Students work approximately 400 hours at the internship site during the semester and earn eight hours of credit. The internship also includes some established and regular communication among the student, the supervising faculty member, and the supervisory attorney. Students also write weekly reflective essays.
With the help of the Office of Career and Professional Development, you will apply for and land your internship placement before applying for the Washington Program.
Professor A. James Barnes offers a 2 credit course, B539: Lawyering in the Public Interest, in Washington, D.C. The course addresses the realities of law practice in Washington, D.C., and is required for participation in the program.
Coursework may include:
Sessions with alumni to discuss insights/practice tips with students will also be arranged.
Admission to the program requires an application and approval of a selection committee. Contact Julia Lamber, interim executive associate dean, for application instructions. You will receive eight credits for the internship and two for the course. You may also enroll in two to four more credits through our directed readings and directed research courses, supervised by faculty members in Bloomington. You will receive letter grades in the course and for directed research; the internship and the directed readings are pass/fail.