To learn more about the Clinical Curriculum and Registration, please visit our Clinical Registration Center.
You can also find more information on How to Register for Clinics and How Clinical Credits Work.
Enrollment in this clinic will fulfill the HLS JD pro bono requirement.
Required Class Component: Government Lawyer: Semester in Washington Clinical Seminar (3 spring classroom credits). Students who are accepted into the clinic will be enrolled in both the clinic and clinical seminar by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: Yes. Applications are due August 18, 2023.
Add/Drop Deadline: November 17, 2023.
LLM Students: International students on F-1 student visas are required to have Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization; LL.M. students are not eligible for CPT.
Multi-Semester: This is a winter-spring clinic (2 winter clinical credits + 8 spring clinical credits.)
Placement Site: Various externship placements in Washington D.C.
Students spend the entire winter and spring terms (except for spring break) in Washington, D.C. working as legal interns in a federal government office while taking an evening seminar course (twice a week during the spring) on government lawyering. Students are required to work full-time over the winter term (40 hours per week) and at least 32 hours per week in the spring term, although most work full-time during the spring term as well. Clinical work exposes students to the distinct forms of lawyering practiced by government attorneys in diverse policy positions in the federal government. Placements are principally in federal government offices where lawyers conduct research and provide legal advice and assistance on policy, legislative or regulatory matters, rather than investigating and litigating cases. Placements in past years have included the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the Departments of Justice and State, the White House Counsel’s Office, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Communications Commission. Placements are coordinated by the clinic director, Jonathan Wroblewski, in consultation with students. Students admitted to the clinic will meet individually with the clinic director to discuss their areas of interest and placement possibilities. Every effort will be made so that students find placements to meet their interests. During the clinic, the director will be available to meet one-on-one with students to discuss their ongoing work experience and progress.
Given the nature of government office hiring and the timing of security clearances, it is possible that placements may not be finalized until after committing to this clinic. Every effort is made so students find a placement in his or her interest area.
This option is for the winter and spring clinic. There is also a separate spring only clinic option.
To get an inside view of the Program, students may visit the Semester in Washington page on the OCP website, which contains detailed information about the current year’s syllabus, course requirements, events, funding, housing, placements, etc.
Enrollment is by application and limited to 2L and 3L students. Students must be enrolled full-time at Harvard Law School to apply. Interested students can apply by submitting an application form, current resume, and a writing sample of no more than 10 pages. Apply through an online application form by August 18, 2023.
Students should be aware of their yearly HLS credit minimums, as the winter and spring semesters are spent entirely off campus (students will receive 2 winter clinical credits + 8 spring clinical credits + 3 spring course credits for a total of 13 winter and spring semester credits).