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Semester in Washington DC

Semester in Washington, D.C.

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Combine professional and legal experience with academic training

Building on Syracuse Law’s tremendous alumni network and commitment to experiential learning, our Semester in Washington, D.C. Program combines professional experience with unique course work to develop an understanding of how lawyers function in our nation’s capital. Externship placements allow students to work as part of a legal team in a variety of different environments. In a weekly course, taught by a Syracuse Law faculty member, students will study legal issues specific to Washington, D.C. practice.

Students also write a substantive research paper on a topic related to federal regulation or a legislative topic or process. The Syracuse Law Semester in Washington, D.C. Program is offered to qualified second-and third-year students three times a year - every summer, fall and spring semester.

Where can you work in Washington, D.C.?

A few of the premier placement opportunities include:

  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)
  • The Public Defender Service for D.C.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Headquarters
  • NASA


The Washington Lawyer Seminar is designed to provide an in-depth look at problem solving for Washington, D.C. attorneys. In each class, students will examine a different client problem and discuss possible solutions with Washington, D.C. attorneys and alumni. Students will keep a journal to reflect on their externship experiences. The seminar will be taught by Professor Turnipseed, who has over 17 years of work experience in the Washington, D.C. area, including work at a non-profit, the federal government, and several law firms.

Research Paper

Students will complete a 15-page paper on an approved topic with a strong connection to a federal regulatory or legislative topic/process.


Students will have the opportunity to network with Washington, D.C. - area alumni and other practitioners each week.

Housing and Travel

Students are responsible for securing their own transportation and housing in the Washington, D.C. area.


For more information about Admission to Syracuse Law contact 315.443.1962 or email admissions@law.syr.edu. We’re happy to talk to you about this new program!

To contact Professor Turnipseed about the program to assist students with externship opportunities email tlturnip@law.syr.edu.

Click here to learn more. 

Washington, D.C. Program at a Glance

DC Program at A Glance

> 35 hours per week, semester long externship in one of many Washington, D.C. placements (12 credits for fall and spring semesters, 5 credits for summer semester).

> Washington Lawyer Seminar: Weekly seminar taught by Syracuse University College of Law Professor Terry L. Turnipseed (2 credits for fall and spring semesters, 1 credit for summer semester).

> Weekly networking events with Washington, D.C. - based Syracuse University College of Law alumni and other Washington, D.C. practitioners.

> Students work as part of a legal team, gaining real-world experience in the nation’s capital.

> Substantial research paper focusing on federal regulation or a legislative topic/process.

> Enrollment limited to 25 students per semester.