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Program Description

The Semester in Washington D. C. gives HLS students the opportunity to work as legal interns in a variety of federal offices while taking a government lawyering class in the spring of their 2L or 3L year.

Financial Aid Application Process

In most cases, you will have already applied for aid prior to your semester in D.C. and may only need to inquire about additional assistance if your student budget allows. Regardless of when you apply for aid, the financial aid process doesn’t change for students in this program.You will apply for financial aid in the same manner as in previous years. See the Apply for Financial Aid section of our website for details on the process.

Your Student Bill

The Law School will charge you regular Harvard Law School tuition for your Semester in Washington D. C.. Additionally, you will be charged the regular University Health Services fee as well as the Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance fee. In order to waive one or both of these fees for your spring semester, you will need to contact the Harvard University Insurance Office. NOTE: If you do not take action to waive one or both of these fees by the cancellation due date, you may be required to pay the fees in full. The insurance programs are structured to cover you from August through January for the Fall and Winter semesters, and February through July for the spring semester.

Please note that under federal and institutional student aid regulations, an allowance for both the Harvard University Health fee and the Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan, may be included in your student budget only if you are enrolled in the plan. If you waive coverage, the allowance will not be given and your total student budget (and HLS grant assistance if eligible) will be reduced by one or both of the plan fee amounts.

Your Student Budget

Your student budget will be increased by $1,500 to compensate for the additional travel and personal expenses related to your semester in Washington D.C. You may receive HLS grant assistance (if already an HLS grant recipient), Clinical Office reimbursement, or take a loan for this increase, however, you may not draw from more than one of these resources. Additionally, you’ll need to keep in mind that the financial aid program is not able to assist students who pay rent in two locations, therefore, it is very important to think about your housing arrangements prior to committing to the Semester in Washington D. C. program.

Summer Work Requirement

You will be held to the same summer work requirement as in previous years. See the Student Contribution from Summer Income section of this web site for details on the summer work requirement.

Cash Advances and Refunds

Second semester cash advances and refunds are disbursed in mid December. These checks will not include the additional $1,500 of funding.Once you have begun your spring semester and the source of funding has been determined, an additional cash advance may be deposited if appropriate.For example a student who will receive funding from the Clinical Office will need to submit receipts for their travel and other eligible costs. Then the Clinical Office will reimburse the student and no cash advance or refund is necessary. Students who request a loan will need to apply for the loan and once the loan has been approved and processed, we will process the funds for direct deposit. HLS grant recipients will automatically receive a grant increase and a check will be disbursed via direct deposit. Student Financial Services will be in touch about funding prior to your departure for spring semester.

Other Considerations

You will be held to the same bill payment schedule as all other HLS students. In most cases students Ebills will already be paid in full by the spring semester, however, you need to be sure that you have enough financial aid credits to cover the student bill, or make all the necessary payment arrangements prior to leaving for your semester in Washington D.C. 3Ls will also need to have an Exit Interview with one of our staff members prior to being cleared for graduation exercises.

For more program-specific details, refer to the Semester in Washington D.C,  web site or contact Maggie Bay in the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs