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The Ambassador Barbara Barrett & Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center is a grand, new location that enriches the opportunities for legal learning. For four 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. Whether they are retired Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor (JD ’74), who served as Justice O’Connor’s first clerk on the Supreme Court of the United States in 1981, or our current class of students in the International Rule of Law and Security program, they are becoming better legal leaders through experiences and connections that only Washington can provide.
When ASU Law was founded 50 years ago, Dean Willard Pedrick approached an antitrust attorney at the Department of Justice, Jonathan Rose, and asked him to teach at a new law school in Arizona. This relationship deepened the exchange between Arizona’s legal community and the nation’s capital. Ever since, there has been a constant stream of ASU Law faculty, students, and graduates coming to Capitol Hill to work, learn, and testify. In turn, senators and congressmen, judges and attorneys, those in public service and the private sector, have brought their perspectives and experiences back to ASU Law in Arizona as professors, lecturers, and mentors.
The International Rule of Law and Security program was permanently established in Washington, D.C., in 2016 to immerse students in issues of national security and protecting the rule of law globally. ASU Law is proud to partner with the McCain Institute for International Leadership and New America to give students access to government officials, lawyers specializing in government work, international development officials, and others who make and influence policy. The IRLS program offers a comprehensive curriculum that is taught by experienced and decorated faculty, as well as externships tailored to students’ long-term goals.
ASU Law’s DC Externship Program brings second- and third-year law students to Washington, D.C., to seek legal experience with a federal agency or nonprofit organization. This program helps students acquire expertise in legal areas important to their future careers, develop an informed insider perspective on policy developments on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies, and foster relationships that are invaluable assets to new attorneys when they enter a legal practice anywhere in the world. ASU Law’s Center for Law, Science and Innovation has a standing externship with the U.S. Patent Office for students interested in patent law and intellectual property.