Clinic Course for J.D. Students

Laura DzornyLaw students apply to join the Harrison Institute’s policy clinic in the spring before their year in the clinic. Starting the fall of 2017, students may register for either (a) a two-semester clinic that awards 14 credits, 8 in the fall and 6 in the spring, or (b) a one-semester clinic that awards 8 credits for the fall semester. It is open to students in their second or third year; you need to have 30 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.

A program summary that includes developing projects (not guaranteed) for fall 2017 is available here.

Application process

  • Information session.  We strongly encourage interested students to request an informational interview; send an email to
  • Application information. Application instructions are available here after the first week of March.
  • Deadline.  The deadline for clinic applications is noon on Monday, April 10, 2017.

Selection criteria

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.  As part of your clinic application, we ask you to cut-and-paste a supplemental preference form as page two of your statement of interest in the Policy Clinic.  The form asks you to rate your interest in developing (not guaranteed) projects on a scale of 10.
  • 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, your project preference ratings, and our conversation at an information session or interview.
  • Personal preparation.  Many of our projects require competency in a particular legal subject such as coastal land use controls, public procurement, international trade law, or international human rights.  We usually show a preference for students who have prepared themselves by learning a language or taking relevant courses prior to starting the clinic – in law school or before.  Advance preparation accelerates a student’s capacity to serve our clients and 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.  We also value graduate training or work experience in non-legal disciplines.

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Google Location Map Georgetown University Law Center 600 New Jersey Avenue NW Washington, DC 20001