Clinics, Externships and Practicum Courses
Here at Georgetown Law, we know that the best way for students to learn what it means to be a lawyer is to do what lawyers do. With this in mind, we offer a number of different experiential courses, all of which are designed to help students apply the theories and skills that they are learning in the classroom to a real lawyering context.
In experiential courses, Georgetown Law students take initiative, make decisions, and are accountable for the results. They reflect on, and learn from, their experiences. They develop an appreciation for the character of the legal profession, and their place in it. Simply put, experiential courses allow our students to experience the law in three dimensions - to move outside the classroom and engage in the world.
With three types of experiential courses - clinics, practicum courses, and externships - each of which offers distinct benefits to participants, Georgetown Law students have multiple opportunities for practical learning. We offer our students an experiential curriculum of unparalleled size, scope, and or rigor, making us a national leader in experiential education.
For a side-by-side comparison of Georgetown Law's different experiential offerings, click here.
In clinics, Georgetown Law students serve as the lead lawyer on a case or project. By representing actual clients facing real legal challenges our students learn about the practical art of lawyering while providing quality legal representation to under-represented individuals and organizations. Clinic students benefit from intensive and individualized supervision; the average student:faculty ratio in clinic is just 5:1. Through clinic, students acquire valuable legal skills not accessible in a traditional classroom setting and gain firsthand insight into the strategic and ethical dimensions of the legal profession.
Practicum courses offer students an opportunity to work on projects or cases under the direction of a supervising attorney, while studying law in action in an associated seminar. In project-based practicum courses, students undertake work that is supervised by their professor. In fieldwork-based practicum courses, students conduct fieldwork at outside organizations and their work is supervised by the lawyers there. In all practicum courses, students reflect on their work experiences in a supportive classroom environment with professors and classmates who are engaged in similar professional undertakings.
In externships, students work at external placements such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, and courts. There, under the supervision of practicing attorneys, students engage in work commensurate with that of first-year lawyers. Externship students also participate in innovative companion classes, which they select based on their own personal and professional goals.
Associate Dean, Experiential Education
Rachel S. Taylor
Assistant Dean, Experiential Education
Carmia N. Caesar
Director of Externship & Public Interest Law Scholars Programs
Assistant Director, Experiential Education