Washington, D.C., Summer Program
Each summer, approximately 20 students have the opportunity to take part in the Washington, D.C., Summer Program. Students work in substantive externships in D.C., accompanied by a high-quality academic program and a summer in the nation’s capital. The externship lasts at least seven weeks and students work at least 20 hours per week, in conjunction with taking classes. Students are paired with a supervisor at their externship, and the supervisor ensures that at least 80 percent of the student’s time is substantive work.
Professors Dakota Rudesill and Chris Walker are co-directors of the program. Professor Rudesill brings Washington experience as a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center, as a senior staff member for the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, and in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Professor Walker has extensive experience working in the D.C. area, as he previously worked in D.C. at the U.S. Department of Justice, for a prominent litigation boutique, and as a law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court. Both professors combine their academic insight with real-life experiences to enhance students’ learning experiences. Throughout the school year, Professors Rudesill and Walker meet with the students to identify externships that are a good fit with the students’ interests and backgrounds and then assist in placing the students in those externships.
Students take a 2-credit course on The Ethics of Washington Lawyering, as well as a 3-credit externship seminar. In previous years, students have worked in major federal agencies and nonprofit groups that are often national leaders in their fields. Externships in the past few years have included the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Education, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the D.C. Office of the Attorney General. A year-by-year list of prior placements since 2003 is available under the Externships page.
Several trips have been included in past years, such as tours of the Capitol, CIA headquarters, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court, and White House. There are a number of social outings as well. Students speak highly of their time spent in D.C. and note the bonds they form with each other add to the value of the experience. For more information on the classes and field trips, visit the Summer Experience page.