Beginning this spring, Harvard Law School students will be able to participate in Government Lawyering — Policy and Practice: Semester in Washington, the the school’s first-ever semester-away program for academic and clinical credit. Students will spend the entire spring semester in Washington, D.C., studying the intersection of law and government while working full-time as legal assistants in a variety of federal offices that handle policy matters, such as the House and Senate, the Federal Election Commission, the EPA, and.the DOJ.

“We are very excited about this new program, which will give our students unique exposure to the real world of government lawyering in the nation’s capital while studying with HLS faculty who are experts in the area,” said Lisa Dealy, director of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs. “We are delighted with Dean Kagan’s strong support for the creation of this academic opportunity and thrilled to have James Flug ’63, former chief counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy, teaching the course and developing placements through his long standing connections in D.C . ”

The course will expose students to the distinct forms of lawyering practiced by government attorneys in diverse positions in the federal government. Classroom work will include discussions of the students’ experiences in their clinical placements, and will focus on the forces that constrain or empower the application of lawyering skills in government offices. It will examine the special roles and skills required of government attorneys, the unique ethical, legal, and moral issues they face, and the impact of politics and ideology on their work.

Students will work at least 25 hours a week in their host offices in D.C. They will also attend classes twice a week in the evening. HLS faculty members Elizabeth Warren, Philip Heymann ‘60, Alex Whiting, David Barron ‘94, and John Manning ’85 will be frequent guest lecturers.

The application deadline for Semester in Washington is Wednesday, Oct. 1. Students will be informed on Oct. 15 whether they’ve been chosen for the program. For more details on the Semester in Washington, D.C. program, go to the website for the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.