The Moritz Washington, DC, Summer Program is a busy two to three months of classroom learning, learning-by-doing at externships, networking, and developing professional skills. 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 Twitter thread recap of the 2019 summer program. Our 2020 program, due to COVID-19, had to switch to a fully online classroom and externship program, and we met virtually with nearly forty lawyers in DC. In Summer 2021, we are hopeful to return to an in-person program similar to 2019 and prior years.
The program activities and curriculum are organized around two courses, which is taught by Professor 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 in 2019 were:
Lawyers as Judges: We held this session at the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and heard from Judge Thomas Griffith.
Lawyers as Lobbyists: We met with an experienced DC lobbyist.
Lawyers as Trade and Business Association Representatives: We held this session at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and met with senior lawyers in the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.
Layers as Private Law Firm Practitioners: 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 as Regulators: We met with an associate general counsel and an assistant general counsel at two large Executive Branch departments.
Lawyers as Public Interest Advocates: We met with the chief counsel of the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center.
Lawyers as Government Litigators: We met with a senior career attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Appellate Staff.
During the summer, students submitted three short reflection papers that explore one of the topics we discussed in class, as well as led class discussion and presented course material in groups.
The Moritz DC Externship Program (3 credits)
In the 2019 program, 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:
Lawyers as Legislators: Visit on Capitol Hill with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and his staff
Lawyers as Reporters: Eisenhower Executive Office Building: Visit at BuzzFeed DC Offices with Legal Editor (and Moritz alum) Chris Geidner
Lawyers for the President: Visit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Lawyers as Law Clerks: 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.