How to Apply

1/25/21 Update: We may have one or two open slots, so if you’re interested let Professor Walker know ASAP.

Below are the details for the Summer 2021 program.  We accept applications on a rolling basis with the first round of applications being accepted starting on Monday, October 19, 2020. We set an early deadline so that we can begin working with students who are sure they are interested as soon as possible to secure an externship position.  The next deadline is Monday, December 7, 2020, though feel free to submit an application anytime between Oct. 19th and December 7th for this second round.  It is possible the program will be full by (or before) the December deadline, but if not we will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis until the program is at its enrollment capacity.  Enrollment in the program is capped at 20 students, and we accept applications on a rolling basis until the program is full. In 2019, for instance, we received the first 20 applications within the first 48 hours that the application process opened in October (though we did end up accepting a few more applications that were submitted later in the fall semester). We will post updates on program enrollment here on a periodic basis. Please follow the application process detailed below.  Please contact Professor Chris Walker if you have any questions.

Professor Walker—along with Career Development—works closely with the students to obtain an externship: reviewing cover letters and resumes, sending applications to Moritz institutional contacts, and reaching out to individuals at the organizations and agencies at which the students are applying.  Moritz has a tremendous network in DC, and as long as students do their part, we are confident they will secure a terrific summer placement and obtain terrific substantive experience while there.  The best evidence of potential placements is to look at the program’s prior placements, which are available from 2003 to present on the Externships page.  Our program alumni are also terrific resources.

In many years, the program has filled within the first few days, so students are encouraged to apply by the first round deadline if possible and definitely by the second deadline.  Students should email their package to, with “Washington Program 2021 Application” in the subject line.   Registration will then remain open until the program is full. One result of the process may be a wait list.  This enrollment system is based on the idea that most students who really want to participate will meet the first deadline, and those who apply early will be able to get a head start on the placement front.

What to Include in Your Application Package

We ask you to provide information that will help us in appraising your interest and ability to sell yourself, and help us in matching you with an externship.  This application is as much about helping you think about your ideal externship as it is about helping us get to know you and figure out the best fit for you in DC. Please submit:

  1. The attached Questionnaire, filled out.
  2. An example application package for an externship.  This is your first cut, and it should not be sent to an actual potential employer.  The package should include an example cover letter addressed to the employer and resume.  The resume should include your name, address, phone number (including cell number if you use it), and email addresss.  A one-page resume is ideal.  Do not go over two pages.  The resume should include any work or volunteer experience that you consider relevant.  Please submit all documents on Word format.

Tuition and Living Expenses

The tuition for the summer program is based on the five units of law school credit that you will receive.  For Summer 2021, the net tuition and fees for all five units are projected to be $8,445.40 for Ohio residents and $10,718.00 for nonresidents. (This total is the university-set tuition and fees minus some scholarship assistance provided by the College of Law.)  This fee covers the five credits of coursework, the time and effort of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in placing you with an externship, and the program operating costs in Washington, D.C. for classes.

Based on past experience, other living expenses for the two months of the program are estimated at: room and board, $4,200; transportation (including travel to Washington, D.C. from Columbus and metro/bus in D.C.) $1,000; other living expenses $1,225. Books for the courses are estimated at $150. In considering these expenses, it may help to remember that you would be paying living expenses wherever you are for the summer. That is the maximum budget a student can take out in student loans, though many students spend much less by arranging for housing in less-expensive areas, etc.

Is the Program a Good Investment?

Each student will have to decide how to spend the first summer after law school. Some students come to the program in their second summer. Many students in the program have found it an excellent investment as part of their law school experience. Here are some things students have emphasized:

Quality of the externships. Students work in federal agencies and nonprofit groups that are national leaders in their fields. By working with leaders in their fields, Moritz students learn-by-doing policy and law practice. Check out the Externships page for a year-by-year list of prior placements since 2003.

An insider’s understanding of Washington, D.C. Students get an insider’s view of government at the federal level through the externship, the student seminar papers about different jobs, guest speakers, and discussion with Professor Walker of their experience in Washington in all three branches of the federal government and private practice.  Check out the Summer Experience page for more information on The Ethics in Washington Lawyering course and other summer events.

Put yourself on the national stage. A summer working in Washington, D.C., underscores to prospective employers your seriousness about working and living in the nation’s capital.  More broadly, working in D.C. is a national legal experience that many future employers nationwide value.

Develop professional mentors and references. In addition to obtaining a solid reference from your employer, due to the small class size, substantial writing experience in the seminar, and one-on-one mentorship with Professor Walker during the placement process and summer, you have the opportunity to develop an additional professional reference from the Moritz faculty before the start of your second year of law school.  There are also ample opportunities during the summer to network and develop relationships with our Moritz alumni in DC.

Develop expertise in a field. Most externships are in a specific field, such as health care, high-tech, or international trade. Your externship thus provides a chance to become more knowledgeable in that field, and to signal that expertise to future employers.

Does the Program Qualify for Financial Aid?

Yes. The Moritz Financial Aid Office will work with you on this.

How Will Participation in the Washington, D.C., Program Affect My Ohio Legal Residency?

Residency is handled the same for this program as for the Oxford Summer Program. Students count their time in an approved program of the Moritz College of Law as time for residency in the State of Ohio.