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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Professor Nancy MaurerCo-Director of Albany Law Clinic & Justice CenterDirector, Field Placement ClinicAlbany Law Clinic & Justice CenterTelephone: 518-445-2328Email:
Barbara ChandlerAdministrative Assistant/ParalegalClinical Legal StudiesTelephone: 518-445-2328E-mail:
Joann FitzsimmonsAssistant Dean and RegistrarTelephone: 518-445-2330E-mail:
Andrea WedlerDirector of Financial AidTelephone: 518-472-5889E-mail: