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Moritz Students Gain Valuable Experience Through D.C. Summer Program

June 3, 2015 | Students

From the Federal Communications Commission to the U.S. Department of Justice to the White House and beyond, 17 Moritz College of Law students are participating in a variety of prestigious externships in the nation’s capital this summer as part of the Washington D.C., Summer Program.

Those placements include the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of the General Counsel; the White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Federal Communications Commission, Office of Chairman Thomas Wheeler; U.S. Patent & Trademark Office; U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Torts Section of the Civil Division; U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Privacy Office; U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security; U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; U.S. Department of Labor, Division of Civil Rights and Labor-Management; Internal Revenue Service, Taxpayer Advocate Service; U.S. Department of Education, Office of General Counsel; D.C. Superior Court, Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division; U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s Office; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel; U.S. Department of Energy, Clean Energy Research Center; and American Rivers.

“Our students this summer are placed in an array of prestigious internships that will give them legally substantive work and, in that way, enable them to learn-by-doing. Multiple years in a row now Moritz students have been placed at the White House, Justice Department, Homeland Security Department, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is chaired by Ohio State alumnus Tom Wheeler,” said Professor Dakota S. Rudesill, co-director of the Washington, D.C., Summer Program.

The summer internship course features two components – a classroom portion and the externship. The two elements work together to provide students with a well-rounded experience, giving them the tools and knowledge they need to succeed both in their externships and beyond.

“The class and the internship are two halves of the whole experience, and they benefit one another. In the class, students learn about ethical principles they can apply during their internships. They also have a chance to meet during class and our field trips with a remarkable array of accomplished Washington practitioners, providing a sense for the varied personalities and types of professionals one can encounter in the workplace,” Rudesill explained. “The internships inform the class sessions by giving the students a sense of ‘law as applied’—a sense for practice and how ethical and legal issues look different when operationalized.  That learning enriches our class discussions, and the papers the students write at the end of term.”

Each year approximately 20 students take advantage of the college’s summer program as a way to gain real experience in the nation’s capital before graduation. Overall, Rudesill said, the goal is to provide an opportunity for students to get hands on experience in a competitive environment, which will benefit them in whichever career they choose after law school.

“We want them to learn about ethics, and about the varieties of work one can do as a lawyer in D.C., from federal agencies to Capitol Hill and beyond. But more importantly, we want them to learn transferrable principles and practice skills: knowledge and competencies that they can take to any legal market and any practice setting. D.C. is a particularly exciting stage, but one finds the same varieties of lawyering in any sizable legal market, from litigation to legislation to media law,” he said.

For more information about the Washington, D.C., Summer Program and how to apply, click here.