D.C. Externship Program

D.C. Externship Program

Combine professional and legal experience with academic training

Building on Syracuse Law’s tremendous alumni network and commitment to experiential learning, our D.C. Externship 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 D.C. Externship 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.

Housing and Travel

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


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


    Please watch this video of students discussing their D.C. Externship experiences.

    For more information about Admission to Syra cuse 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.

    To apply, please click here

    Click here to learn more.

    Student Experiences

    As for my experience in DC, I can honestly say it has surpassed all of my expectations. I knew this would be a great opportunity coming in, but I had no idea it would be THIS great.

    I've been networking like crazy. I have made it a habit to meet with at least two people for coffee, per week. As a result, I've met numerous individuals within the SEC (one of whom is a Syracuse Undergrad Alumni).

    More importantly, my work within the OIG is respected. My supervising attorney is pleased with my work.
    Overall, the working environment is great. I have met everyone in the office, and I'm even helping the son of one of the administrative staff members apply to college (I have about 6 years experience in college counseling).

    I've also connected with well-connected folk in some unexpected places. I feel like I'm surrounded by brilliant minds.

    Raul Velez Jr. 2L

    Fall 2016 Distinguished Guest Lecturers

    The D.C. Externship Program features a number of Distinguished Guest Lecturers who discuss current legal issues and provide career development insights.


    Michael Walls L84, Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, and Calvin Dooley, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Chemistry Council, 700 Second Street N.E., 10th floor


    Scott de la Vega L’94, Senior Associate General Counsel, Executive Office of the President
    Seminar location in the White House


    Nancy A. Fischer L’92, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP


    Nancy A. Noonan L’95, Partner, Arent Fox LLP


    Kim Marie Boylan L’86, Partner, White & Case LLP