Semester in Government – Washington, D.C

Semester in Government – Washington, D.C

A joint initiative of Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center's Field Placement Clinic and Government Law Center

What is the Semester in D.C. Program?

The Semester in Government—D.C. program offers Albany Law School students a unique opportunity to spend one full semester working under the supervision of a government lawyer-mentor in the nation's capital.

Students wishing to experience government lawyering in a "real-life" learning laboratory will work side-by-side with lawmakers, policymakers, and decision makers on a wide range of government law and public policy issues. Whether assignments include preparation for hearings on the Hill, research in the Library of Congress, administrative hearings before a federal agency, drafting of legislation and/or rule making, or litigation in defense of the government, students will benefit from an appreciation of the varied skills required to be an effective public lawyer.

Who is Eligible?

All second-year and third-year law students who meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement (2.5) for participation in the program as outlined in the Student Handbook are eligible to apply for this unique experience. Students must understand, however, that participation in this program requires a daily physical presence in Washington, D.C.

What are the Requirements?

Students are required to spend 30 hours per week working in the office of their host government agency; enroll in the Albany Law School Government Ethics course; and maintain a reflective learning journal. Students are also required to complete any program-related paperwork and participate in any program-related meetings. An Albany Law School Faculty Liaison will be assigned to oversee the placement experience and the completion of program requirements.

How Many Credits are Awarded?

The Semester in Government—D.C. program carries a total of 12 academic credits. Nine of these credits are earned through the completion of all field placement component requirements. The remaining three credits are earned through enrollment and participation in the Albany Law Government Ethics course. This course will be taught at Albany Law School. Students will participate through an arrangement with a local D.C. university to telecommute into the course.

Potential Placements

A number of federal agencies and the District of Columbia have hosted Albany Law students as part of this program. Possible placements include, but are not limited to:

THE AMERICAN LAW DIVISION OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

  • INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE

    U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    U.S. PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE

    In order to secure a placement that is customized to a student's particular interests in a subject-matter or in a type of experience, notice of intent to participate in this program should be given by the student to Professor Robert Heverly, Interim Director of the Government Law Center, early in the fall semester, but no later than the end of September.

    Application Procedures:

    Informational Meeting

    Students interested in this program are urged to contact Professor Robert Heverly to set up an appointment to obtain more information about the program and placement opportunities.  Contact should be made as early as possible in the fall since many of the potential Washington, D.C., placements require application in the fall semester for positions available in the spring.

    Placement Office Preferences

    Students are encouraged to visit any one of the agency links above or visit: www.firstgov.gov for a complete listing of federal agency offices.

    Application

  • Students planning to participate in the program must fill out a placement application, indicating their first and second placement office choices and attaching a current resume and transcript (in hard copy and electronic form). Applications should be submitted no later than the end of September. The placement process will be commenced upon receipt of the application materials and confirmation that the student has met the minimum GPA requirement for enrollment in the program.  

    Program Registration:

    Clinic Placement Confirmation Card

  • If a student is accepted at a placement office in Washington, D.C., a copy of the student's application materials will be forwarded by the Government Law Center to Barbara Chandler, the Administrative Assistant/Paralegal for the Clinic's Field Placement Project, confirming that the student will be participating in the program.  Students will then be instructed to contact Ms. Chandler so that they may sign a placement confirmation card.  Ms. Chandler will process the card and forward it to the Registrar's Office. 

    Registration

  • Upon receipt of the confirmation card, the Registrar's Office will add the course to the student's spring semester schedule. While registration for the program will be handled, in large part, by the Clinic and Registrar Offices, students are responsible for registering for the Government Ethics course.

    Housing and Financial Aid

  • Students interested in the program are encouraged to speak with the Admissions Office regarding potential changes in financial needs based upon the cost-of-living in Washington, D.C. The Admissions Office may also be able to direct you to website listings and other services that provide information on apartment rentals. Government lawyer-mentors and students who have participated in the program may also be helpful.


Contact Information

Clinic

Professor Nancy Maurer
Co-Director of Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center
Director, Field Placement Clinic
Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center
Telephone: 518-445-2328
Email: nmaur@albanylaw.edu

Barbara Chandler
Administrative Assistant/Paralegal
Clinical Legal Studies
Telephone: 518-445-2328
E-mail: bchan@albanylaw.edu

Registrar

Joann Fitzsimmons
Assistant Dean and  Registrar
Telephone: 518-445-2330
E-mail: jfitz@albanylaw.edu  

Financial Aid

Andrea Wedler
Director of Financial Aid
Telephone: 518-472-5889
E-mail: awedl@albanylaw.edu