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Semester in Washington

Legal Externship in Washington, D.C.

Penn State Law students who participate in the John C. Keeney Semester in Washington Program spend one semester during the third year of law school in Washington, D.C., externing at an approved federal government agency, nonprofit organization or public interest group. The legal externship experience provides advanced study in federal law, and serves as a capstone experience for students interested in federal practice.
In the program, students attend a weekly seminar on federal regulatory and legislative practice, and work approximately 32 hours per week at an approved externship. Students are encouraged to identify externships related to their prior studies at the law school and their future career goals.
The program is facilitated on-site by Stanley Brand, a Distinguished Fellow in Law and Government at the Law School and a prominent Washington attorney. Mr. Brand previously served as general counsel to the United States House of Representatives, and was the chief legal officer responsible for representing the House, its members, officers and employees in connection with legal procedures and challenges to the conduct of their official activities. After leaving the House, Mr. Brand has had a succession of high profile, political and public corruption cases and clients, including former White House Aide George Stephanopoulos in the Whitewater investigation. The weekly seminar course meets in Mr. Brand’s office building in downtown Washington, D.C.
Potential externships placements include:  
  • AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly
  • American Bar Association, Government Affairs Office
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Department of the Interior, Office of Civil Rights
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of Treasury
  • Environmental Protection Agency—Environmental Appeals Board
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review—Arlington Immigration Court
  • Federal Communications Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau 
  • Federal Communications Commission's International Bureau
  • House Committee on Ways and Means
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • Project Vote
  • Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • U.S. Office of Special Counsel 
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. China Economic Review and Security Commission

Students interested in applying for the Semester in Washington Program must meet the program eligibility requirements and submit an application and other required materials. For more information, contact Professor Gopal Balachandran.

View a  full list of Washington Semester Program opportunities.
Watch a video of Director of Penn State Law’s Semester in D.C. Program. Penn State Law’s Semester in D.C. gives our students unparalleled access to and experience in the Washington D.C. job market. Hear what Professor Brand and student participants have to say about the program and the networking opportunities that Penn State Law students have in Washington, D.C.