The Moritz DC Program packs a lot into a summer, and students are constantly learning, networking, and developing professional skills throughout the summer. In previous summers students have given very positive reviews of their time in Washington, D.C. In addition to the more formalized curriculum and program described below, students in the program frequently went out together after class and also met on other occasions. Here is a rundown of the 2014 program; a similar program will take place in 2015.
The program activities and curriculum are organized around two courses, which are co-taught by Professors Rudesill and Walker:
The Ethics of Washington Lawyering (2 credits)
During the summer we met for seven evenings for 2.5 hours each session to discuss professional responsibility and DC lawyering. Each class session covered a different type of lawyering job in DC, with guest speakers for each session and student presentations on the assigned reading and topics. The topics covered were:
- Lawyers on the Hill: We held this session at the Senate Russell Office Building and heard from a legislative assistant for Senator Brown (D-OH) as well as a senior advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
- Lawyers and Lobbyists: We heard from an experienced DC lobbyist.
- Lawyers in Trade and Business Associations: We held this session at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and heard from a senior lawyer in the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.
- D.C. Law Firm Lawyers: We held this session at a prominent DC law firm and heard from one of the firm’s senior partners who specializes in professional responsibility.
- Lawyers in Federal Agencies: We held this session at U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and heard from Chief Judge James Baker.
- Lawyers, Activists & Advocacy Campaigns: We heard from a former lobbyist who directs a major advocacy campaign in DC.
- Lawyers as Government Litigators: We heard from a career attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Appellate Staff.
At the end of the course, students submitted a 15-page paper that explores one of the topics we discussed in class (or another, with permission), which they workshopped with fellow students and received feedback from the professors throughout the summer.
The Moritz DC Externship Program (3 credits)
We started the program with a kick-off barbeque and training at Professor Walker’s house—focused on how to succeed in your internship—and then hosted four field trips during the summer to various DC institutions and law/policy actors:
- Visit on Hill with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
- Visit at BuzzFeed DC Offices with Legal Editor (and Moritz alum) Chris Geidner
- Visit at the Pentagon with officials from the Office of Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as well as with the Comptroller of the Air Force
- Visit at the U.S. Supreme Court with several law clerks for Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy
At the end of the course, students submitted a 20-page paper that explores an issue at the intersection of law and policy they grappled with in their externships. They workshopped the paper with other students outside of class, received repeated feedback from the professors, and presented their papers in the eighth and final evening class session.
Washington, D.C. has a large rental and sub-let market, in diverse neighborhoods close to public transportation. Students often have rented dorm rooms at George Washington, Georgetown University, or American University. Other students found housing with friends or family or in the large D.C. market for summer sub-lets. Information on housing will be provided to students who enroll in the program in time for rental around March or April.