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Externing in Washington, D.C.

Bringing the law to life

The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law D.C. Program offers a unique opportunity for second- and third-year law students who seek legal experience in Washington D.C. Students who come to D.C. as part of the D.C. Program are able to take advantage of the incredible number of opportunities within the D.C.-metro area. Whether you are interested in federal government work, legislative, NGO, non-profit organizations, or firms, D.C. offers a huge variety of legal experiences that will fit any law student’s interests and prepare you for legal work anywhere in the world.

For more information on ASU Law’s externship program and requirements, visit the externship page

Externing in Washington, D.C.

Students can work with Robin Grieff, Director of Career Services Washington, D.C., to find and secure externships in D.C. To learn about how to get an externship in D.C., students should contact Robin Grieff.

Placements from 2023-2024

  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
  • Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear
  • Executive Office of the President
    • (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative)
  • U.S. Copyright Office
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • Office of the General Counsel
  • U.S. Department of the Interior
    • Office of the Solicitor, (Indian Affairs)
  • U.S. Department of Justice
    • Tax Division
    • Office of Immigration Litigation 
    • Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section
    • Office of Tribal Justice
  • U.S. Department of Labor
    • Mining Safety and Health Division
  • U.S. Department of Transportation 
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • U.S. Department of State
    • Office of the Legal Adviser
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
  • U.S. House of Representatives
    • Office of Ruben Gallego
    • Office of Mike Thompson
    • Committee on Oversight and Reform
  • U.S. Senate 
    • Office of Alex Padilla
    • Committee on Rules and Administration
  • ACT - The App Association
  • Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Human Rights First
  • McCain Institute
  • National Public Radio
  • Recording Industry Association of America
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • The Second Look Project

Frequently asked questions about the Washington, D.C. externships

Students generally apply directly to employers for Washington, D.C. externship positions. If we have an existing relationship with an employer, we can help forward your application materials to the employer, in addition to your direct application. Most employers will indicate what application materials they want to receive in their externship announcement. If not, or if you are applying to an organization that has not advertised a position, send a cover letter and resume. For help searching for and applying to D.C. externships, please contact Robin Grieff, Director of Career Services in D.C. 

  • Start by looking at On Campus Interviews (OCI) and Job Listings on Atlas, where we post jobs and externships that employers send to ASU. In the Resource Library on Atlas, there are also a number of databases for searching for externships. You should use these databases to search for and find additional postings.
  • Email Robin Grieff, Director of Career Services in Washington, D.C. at to let her know of your interest in externing in D.C., discuss externship employer possibilities, and begin receiving externship opportunity announcements through the D.C. Program email list. Ms. Grieff can provide you with more information about past D.C. Program employers, as well as connecting you to D.C.-Program alumni. 
  • Meet and connect with professors who teach in your areas of interest, and legal professionals who work in your area of interest. They may be able to help you think about your goals and interests and identify potential employers, and knowledgeable alumni.

Typically, you should begin applying the semester before you want to participate in the Washington, D.C. Program; however, timing varies from employer-to-employer. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about when to start your search and application process:

  • Some employers (e.g., private firms and organizations, some government agencies that require security clearances) have formal hiring processes with deadlines early in the semester before the target semester. For example, deadlines as early as August or September for Spring semester externships. If you are interested in externing in a private firm or organization, or government agency with security clearance, you should begin your search well before the start of the semester before your target semester (e.g., if you are going to D.C. in the Fall, begin your search in November/December before the prior Spring semester; if you are going to D.C. in the Spring, begin your search in May/June of the summer before the prior Fall semester). 
  • Some employers (e.g., large private law firms) hire a full year in advance. For these employers, you should begin your search very early (e.g., if you are thinking of going to D.C. in the Fall of your third year, you should begin your search in the summer after your first year).
  • Many other employers do not have formal hiring processes and hire interns on a rolling basis. Some employers will not get around to hiring their externs until the last weeks before the new semester begins. The best advice we can offer is to start your externship search and application process early, but be patient and flexible about timing. Don’t worry if you don’t see that many postings when you begin your search, or don’t hear from an employer right away after applying – they may just not be ready to think about hiring externs yet.

In addition to Airbnb, Furnished Finder, and housing/sublet groups on Facebook, there are a number of intern/extern-specific housing options in Washington, D.C., including the following:

For summer housing, a number of the schools in D.C. offer intern housing to external students as well, for example:

View of the lake in front of the United States Capitol surrounded by green tress and grass.
Tyler Hughes


Tyler Hughes, JD 2022

"It is difficult to put into words the diversity of professional opportunities available to law students who study in D.C. There are more lawyers per capita here than any other city in the country, and the networking opportunities are endless. For students interested in governance, politics/policy, democracy, elections, and rule of law, the DC program is an absolute must. For students still unsure about which type of law they are interested in, it is hard to think of a better place to explore your options.

While in DC, I externed at the following organizations: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law (LCCRUL, or LCCR), The Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes (CSPO),  ACT/ The App Association, and  The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) at ICE.

If I had to offer one takeaway from my year in the DC program, it is that with a little ingenuity and determination, the potential for career development and personal success has no limit."

For more information on how to get an externship in Washington, D.C., contact Robin Grieff.