A practicum is an experiential course with two inter-related components: every week, students engage in practical work (either a real-world project under their professor’s supervision or fieldwork at an outside organization), and participate in a seminar that focuses on the doctrine, theory, skills, and ethical questions that arise in that practice area. Explore our 2019-20 practicum courses.
Georgetown Law offers two types of practicum courses:
- In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work for 5-15 hours/week on a project under their professor’s supervision. It is the professor, and not the student, who identifies the project topic. In all cases, the project is chosen because it is of practical use to the professor or an outside partner and because it is closely related to the seminar topic.
- In a fieldwork practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and conduct 5-15 hours/week of fieldwork at an outside organization. In most practicum courses, it is the professor, and not the student, who sets up these positions. In all cases, the placements are chosen because they will give students the opportunity to conduct work that is closely related to the seminar topic.
Practicum courses provide an opportunity for students to become substantive experts on a particular topic, cultivate a range of legal skills, and begin to develop a professional identity. They provide students with opportunities to build their professional networks. And they foster in students the confidence they need to work as lawyers upon graduation.