Semester Public Interest Program

B538 is taught by A. Barnes, Hughes, C Weng

Select third-year students spend an entire semester in Washington, D.C as public interest interns with nonprofit corporations, trade associations, or federal, state, or local government agencies.

The core of the program is a semester-long internship coupled with an on-site or video-enabled twice monthly in-person seminar on lawyering in the public interest (B539). Students work at least 400 hours during the semester at the internship site (for eight hours of credit) for B538. The internship credits include established and regular communication among the student, the supervising faculty member, and the supervisory attorney. Students also write weekly reflective essays, which focus not on particular (and often confidential) work products but more on the working of the host organization, its role in administrative, legislative or advocacy work, and on the types of specific challenges it faces in administrative law, legislative drafting and representation, litigation or advocacy from a more academic perspective.

Depending on whether students have taken Administrative Law or Legislation before matriculating in B538 and B539, students should read selected portions of the Aman-Penniman treatise on Administrative Law, which is widely available from online sources as well as the Bloomington area textbook sellers. Students will submit a total of 17 short papers over the course of the semester as the deliverables for the B538-B539 combination of courses. Students will be paired with two Maurer grad mentors practicing in fields of mutual interest and, during the B539 class session, will meet with distinguished Maurer alumni who specialize in federal practice areas that students enrolled during the particular semester express interest.

Admission to the program requires special permission from Executive Associate Dean Donna Nagy and the instructor. The companion course, B539, offers an additional two credits for a total of 10. Some students need to earn up to two more credits from directed readings or independent research to meet the requirements for graduation on time.

For more information, see (link).