Clinic Course for J.D. Students
Law students apply to join the Harrison Institute’s policy clinic in the spring before their year in the clinic. It is a two-semester clinic that awards 14 credits, seven in the fall and seven in the spring. It is open to students in their second or third year; you need to have 28 credits by the time you start in the clinic.
The Harrison Institute depends on its students to complete the work commitments they make to their clients or project teams. This requires careful planning throughout the year in order to create reasonable expectations. If students do not complete their work commitments by the last day of class, the Institute requires that they do so by May 15th.
- Information session. Attend an applicant meeting/information session to learn more about what the clinic entails: Wednesday, March 26th, 3:30-4:30 pm, McDonough 347; or Thursday, March 27th, 1:30-2:30, McDonough 110. Sign up for one of these meetings by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot make either time, send an email to email@example.com.
- Application information. Application instructions, dates and deadlines are available after the first week of March at www.law.georgetown.edu/go/clinic-registration.
Our main criterion is student interest in public policy and our clients or project topics, which you can express to us based on work or academic experience, career plans, and personal values. For some projects, we favor students who are proficient in Spanish. Our other selection criteria include:
- Matching interests. Students often have strong preferences for working on certain projects and low interest in others. In the Harrison Institute application, we ask you to rate available projects according to your interests. This enables us to assess whether what we have to offer is what you want to do. However, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to work on your first preference.
- Personal commitment. We look for evidence of the personal commitment that is necessary to sustain the effort and specific kind of activities that our practice requires. We look for this in the experience shown on your resume and in your answers on our information form, which asks you to relate the clinic to your past experience, future plans, personal learning goals, or other reasons for personal interest.
- Personal preparation. Many of our projects require unique competency in a particular legal subject such as international trade law, coastal land use controls, or regulation of insurance under the Affordable Care Act. While we do not have formal prerequisites, we usually favor applicants who have prepared themselves by taking relevant courses prior to starting the clinic. This accelerates a student’s capacity to serve our clients, and it enables the clinic to function as a capstone experience that integrates and applies knowledge gained through classroom courses.
- Student diversity. Diversity strengthens our seminar, teamwork, and client relations. The Harrison Institute affirmatively recruits students with language abilities, minorities, women, and students with diverse political backgrounds. Graduate training or work experience may also uniquely qualify a student to serve our clients on a particular issue.