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ASU Law offers the unique opportunity for law students to study and work for up to one full year in Washington, D.C. The ASU Law D.C. programs connect students to the breadth of externship and networking opportunities unavailable anywhere else. ASU Law students can set themselves apart by gaining experience and contacts in Washington, whether or not they foresee staying in the nation’s capital after graduation. ASU Law D.C. programs are led by faculty with decades of first-hand experience in the government, non-profit, and private sectors in Washington.
For decades, students and graduates of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law have held externships, judicial clerkships, and jobs in the nation’s capital. The new Ambassador Barbara Barrett & Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center enriches students’ opportunities for legal learning. As an ABA-approved location of ASU Law, the Barrett & O’Connor Center serves as home base for ASU Law students, faculty, and staff, and enables students to study in D.C. for more than one semester. The central location, a block from the World Bank and down the street from the White House, puts students at the heart of influence and political activity. When ASU Law moved into the Beus Center for Law and Society in downtown Phoenix, students instantly reaped the benefits of being walking distance from the area’s biggest law firms, the courts, and the center of state government. Now, they have that opportunity in our nation’s capital.
ASU Law students who choose to spend a semester or year in Washington, D.C. pay standard tuition and fees and remain eligible for scholarships and financial aid through the law school. While in Washington, students have access to support and resources including full time staff and faculty, group study space, library resources, printing, and supplies.
For more information about ASU Law’s programs in Washington, D.C., please contact Lauren Burkhart, Director of Washington, D.C. Affairs
ASU Law’s D.C. Externship Program has been supporting students in Washington for a decade and continues to grow. Our students may work in Washington for a single semester, or stay up to a full year, providing more opportunity to explore different areas of law and grow their professional networks on the east coast. With an increasing number of externship placements and courses offered each semester, students interested in any area of law gain valuable experience in D.C. that can advance their career goals. In particular, D.C. positions students to explore federal regulation, legislative advocacy, tribal policy, intellectual property, international law and foreign policy, national security, and to work in agencies at the center of finance, business, health law, environmental law, and more.
The International Rule of Law and Security (IRLS) program was permanently established in Washington, D.C., in 2016 to educate students in protecting the rule of law globally. Developed in partnership with the McCain Institute for International Leadership, IRLS includes coursework, events, international projects, and an externship component that immerse students in issues of global rule of law, governance, and national security and connect them with organizations such as the Department of State, Department of Justice, Congressional offices, and international NGOs and think tanks. JD, MLS, and LLM students can pursue a focus in international rule of law and security, with the option for IRLS MLS and LLM students to complete their degrees entirely in Washington. For more information and FAQs, visit the IRLS website.
Federal policy has a huge impact on tribal governments and individual members. ASU Law and the Indian Legal Program (ILP) give students an opportunity to take classes and work in Washington, D.C. through the ILP Washington, D.C. Experience. Whether coming for one week with ILP’s traveling classroom or staying for a full year, students develop an informed insider perspective on Indian policy developments on Capitol Hill, learn how to navigate federal agencies, and build relationships that will help them when they begin to practice. The ILP faculty, staff and alumni use professional relationships to help students secure meaningful externship placements.
All on-ground, degree-seeking students at ASU Law may be eligible to participate in our Washington, D.C. programs. JD students must register and submit a statement of interest prior to their semester(s) in D.C., but there are no minimum criteria to participate; all interested JD students have the option to study in Washington.
LLM and MLS students may also participate, but must apply and receive approval before registering for D.C. programs.
JD students may participate as early as their first summer (after 1L year), and throughout their 2L or 3L years. JD students may stay in Washington for one semester or up to one full year (12 months), beginning and ending with any semester, including their final semester.
MLS and LLM students are also eligible to spend a semester or up to a full year in Washington, with prior approval. These students may apply directly to the IRLS program when applying to ASU Law, or they may seek approval to participate in D.C. programs post-matriculation.
Typically, students have taken 2-3 courses (6-9 credits) and worked in a 6-9 credit externship per semester in Washington, D.C. However, ASU Law will generally offer at least 5 in-person courses per semester (fall and spring), giving students flexibility to choose the number of courses and externship units that best fit their academic plan. There is no required number of courses or units for the Washington, D.C. program. All student policies and financial aid policies apply.
Note: This list does not include all past externships. If you are exploring a particular placement, please contact Career Services or DC program staff.
Online course availability is the same in Washington as in Phoenix. A small number of JD courses are available online (1-2 per semester), and students in D.C. will be eligible to take those classes.
No. Although we strongly encourage students to consider the externship opportunities in D.C., an externship is not required.
ASU Law’s D.C. team includes full-time staff and faculty who provide student services, career services support, logistics support (such as housing), mentorship, and more. The Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center has dedicated ASU Law resources and study space.
In addition, ASU Law provides free, unlimited-use Metro passes to students, and has negotiated rates for furnished, semester-based housing with Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH). ASU students have constant access to all support services in Phoenix, including library materials and research help, career services staff appointments, and campus-wide resources.
Tuition and fees are the same for students in Washington, D.C. as in Phoenix. All scholarships that students have been awarded by ASU Law will still apply.
Applications for residency require a 12-month continuous presence in Arizona. Spending a semester or year in Washington, D.C. is likely to negatively impact eligibility for residency applicants. However, it will not affect students who are already classified as Arizona residents (residency status does not get withdrawn once granted).