The Clinical Law Center

Mission Statement

Howard University School of Law's clinical and externship courses are offered through the Clinical Law Center (CLC). The primary goal of the CLC is to provide a high quality course of training that teaches students the skills necessary for the effective practice of law. The model is one of learning through experience, while providing assistance to the poor and the under-represented of the greater metropolitan District of Columbia area.

The Clinical Law Center offers six (6) live-client clinical experiences: the Criminal Justice Clinic (CJC), the Fair Housing Clinic (FHC), the Human and Civil Rights Clinic (HCRC), the Investor Justice and Education Clinic (IJEC), the Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic (IPTC), and the Child Welfare Clinic (CWC). Student Attorneys in these clinical programs will staff the Clinic’s intake system, an integral component of the clinical program at Howard Law, by devoting in-office hours each week to the Clinic handling requests for representation which come from write-ins, walk-ins, e-mails and referrals from outside organizations.

The CLC also offers the following externship opportunities: judicial; ADRC-DR: Rule of Law Human Rights Fact Finding Project;  General (for students in diverse placement settings); Advanced (for students who have already participated in the externship program); Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC); Internal Revenue Service (IRS); Environmental Justice; Criminal Defense; Alternative Dispute Resolution Consortium (EEOC, Dept. of Homeland Security, International Trade Administration); and the World Bank Group/IMF ADR Program.

Intake

Our intake office is CLOSED for the summer. 


Faculty and Staff

ADR Program

Homer C. La Rue
Professor and Supervising Attorney, ADR World Bank Externship

John Woods
Adjunct Professor and ADR  & ADRC - Rule of Law Human Rights Fact Finding Project Externship Coordinator

CLINICS

Child Welfare Clinic

Sabine Browne
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Criminal Justice Clinic

Lucius Outlaw
Assistant Professor and Supervising Attorney

Fair Housing Clinic

Valerie J. Schneider
Associate Professor and Supervising Attorney 
Director of the Clinical Law Center

Human and Civil Rights Clinic

Justin Hansford
Associate Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney
Executive Director of the Thurgood Marshall Center for Civil Rights


Ajmel Querishi
Supervising Attorney

Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic

Mariessa Terrell
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Investor Justice and Education Clinic

Bruce Sanders
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Externship Programs

Carmia N. Caesar
Adjunct Professor and Director of Experiential Learning

Josephine Ross
Professor and Supervising Attorney, Criminal Defense Externship

Cheryl C. Nichols
Professor and Supervising Attorney

Bruce Sanders
Adjunct Professor, SEC Externship

Alice M. Thomas
Associate Professor and IRS Externship Coordinator

 


Application Process

To be eligible for enrollment in any CLC program, interested students must first complete an application package, which may include a resume and a personal statement of interest. Students may apply to up to there programs. There is a global application for the following programs:  

  • Criminal Justice Clinic
  • Human and Civil Rights Clinic
  • Fair Housing Clinic
  • Investor Justice and Education Clinic
  • Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic
  • Child Welfare Clinic
  • WBG/IMF ADR Program
  • ADR Consortium Externship

Applications for the Fall 2018 semester and year long programs in the 2018-2019 academic year will be available beginning February 21, 2018 online and are due by 12:00pm (noon) on Wednesday, February 28. Following application submission, students must schedule an interview on TWEN COURSE: Clinical Law Center 2018-2019 Interview Sign Ups.

THE CLINICAL LAW CENTER GLOBAL APPLICATION IS CLOSED.

Students who are accepted into any of the clinical programs will be notified by e-mail and/or posting prior to the start of the registration period for the upcoming spring semester. A short waitlist may also be maintained for each program; students who are waitlisted will be notified should a time slot in the desired clinical program become available. Once final decisions are made, students may need to decide which clinic or externship to enroll in, as students may enroll in only one (1) in-house clinic or externship at a time. Exceptions to this policy must be cleared by the clinical director and externship professor. When a student has been officially accepted into any of the Clinical programs or externships, the student’s name will be submitted to the law school’s Records Office for direct registration. If you are not automatically registered for a clinical program that you have been accepted into, please notify Bernice Ines via email at bernice.ines@law.howard.edu

There is a separate application for our Externship programs. Externship applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

THE EXTERNSHIP APPLICATION CAN BE FOUND HERE.


Orientation

Participation in each clinical program requires that students attend and participate in a mandatory orientation program prior to the first week of classes. Students should take into account the orientation requirement and schedule their summer break activities accordingly.

Other Requirements

Students accepted into and who enroll in the Criminal Justice, Fair Housing, Human and Civil Rights Clinic, Investor Justice & Education, or Child Welfare Clinic may be required to obtain student bar licenses or certifications issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals or other government agencies. Certification or temporary student bar license applications must be completed, fully typewritten, by accepted students and turned into the CLC Reception office no later than 5:00 pm on April 13, 2018. Handwritten applications will not be processed. The CLC will then obtain the Dean’s certification and submit the applications to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals or other government agencies as applicable.

Students accepted into and who enroll in the IP/Trademark Clinic for Fall 2018 will be required to apply separately to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for their temporary practice number. Students must complete their USPTO applications in dark ink and submit the originals to the Supervising Attorney for that program.


Criminal Justice Clinic (CJC)

Kelli I. Neptune, Visiting Assistant Professor and Fareed Nassor Hayat, Adjunct Professor

Who can apply? Rising 3Ls
Prerequisite Course(s): Evidence, Criminal Procedure (either Criminal Procedure I or Criminal Procedure II) prior to the semester in which the student will be enrolled in the CJC (concurrent enrollment in the CJC and the above-mentioned courses is not permitted)
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Year-long
How many credits? 12, upon completion of full year-long course

*Clinic orientation occurs the week prior to regularly scheduled fall classes. Please see your clinic schedule to determine which day you need to return to campus in August.

The CJC course includes actual client representation and a classroom seminar. The classroom portion of the clinic includes two (2) seminar sessions per week, each of which is hour and fifty minutes in duration. The classroom component includes review of constitutional law, criminal procedure and evidence, as well as case rounds, analysis of ethical, strategic and client representation issues, and litigation skill development. The legal work includes the representation of indigent adult persons charged with criminal misdemeanors in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Students are responsible for all aspects of the representation of the client, under the direct supervision of the CJC faculty, including preparation for presentation of the case at all stages of the proceeding. Such preparation includes, but is not limited to, client and witness interviews, interaction with the Office of the United States Attorney and the Metropolitan Police Department, legal research and the drafting and filing of litigation pleadings. Students also appear in court at pretrial hearings, trials, sentencing proceedings, and parole revocation hearings. The CJC continues to expand to other areas of criminal practice, and has in various years included representation at administrative hearings, clemency appeals, juvenile justice matters, or the representation of defendants in protective order violations in domestic relations cases.


Human and Civil Rights Clinic (HCRC)

Justin Hansford, Associate Professor of Law and Ajmel Quereshi, Supervising Attorney

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Prerequisite Course(s): None
Recommended Courses: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, and/or Human Rights Law
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long with option to enroll as an “advanced” student in a second semester, with the professor’s approval.
How many credits? 6

The Human and Civil Rights Clinic advocates on behalf of clients and communities fighting for the realization of the civil and human rights guarantees promised by the United States Constitution and International Human Rights treaties. Students in the clinic will work in the context of federal and state litigation, advocate before international human rights tribunals, and utilize these mechanisms to support movements for social change. Cases include a range of matters, including police brutality, racial justice, mass incarceration and unconstitutional prison conditions, and other concerns that implicate core constitutional and human rights.  Students will also have the opportunity to work with the Thurgood Marshall Center, collaborating with community groups struggling to realize the vision of the burgeoning black lives matter movement, going beyond litigation to explore alternative modes of advocacy.

Students work with faculty in classroom-seminar and clinical-practice settings to review the trial court records, prepare memoranda, consult with clients, research and write the briefs, memoranda, and human rights reports, and prepare and conduct oral argument and testimony when applicable. The pedagogical goal of the Clinic is for students and faculty to critically examine the analytical and linguistic challenges of effective advocacy, the legal and strategic considerations of lawyering in support of social movements in the civil and human rights context, the ethical and professional obligations of client representation, and the social and political implications of advocacy for civil and human rights.

Students are also strongly encouraged to complete a course in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, and/or Human Rights Law prior to the semester in which the student will be enrolled in the HCRC. Applying for the HCRC requires submission of a legal writing sample, timely completion of an application for enrollment in the CHRC and, if necessary, an interview and approval for enrollment by the faculty of the HCRC.

Students accepted into and who enroll in the Civil and Human Rights Clinic program for Fall 2018 may be required to obtain student bar licenses issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals or other court. If so, Professor Hansford will give you a date that your application is due. CLC will then obtain the Dean’s certification and submit the applications to the appropriate office.

Fair Housing Clinic (FHC)

Valerie J. Schneider, Associate Professor and Supervising Attorney, Interim Director, Clinical Law  Center

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Prerequisite Course(s): None
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Year-long  
How many credits? 12, upon completion of full year-long course

All students enrolled in the Fair Housing Clinic will have the opportunity to assist real clients with legal problems related to their housing. Under the supervision of the Supervising Attorney, students take on full responsibility for researching legal issues, counseling clients, negotiating with opposing parties, participating in mediations, and, when appropriate, appearing in court or before administrative tribunals. Students may also have the opportunity to pursue policy changes, issue public comments on proposed regulations, and otherwise advocate for housing justice.

The Fair Housing Clinic allows students the opportunity to study various aspects of both public and private housing throughout the United States, and places particular emphasis on the Fair Housing Act of 1968, and D.C. laws and regulations related to discrimination, housing conditions, and landlord-tenant issues. In addition to serving as Student Attorneys, Fair Housing Clinic students may be trained as “Fair Housing Testers,” allowing them to identify and investigate discriminatory housing practices, which may ultimately form the basis for a fair housing lawsuit. Students also engage in a variety of community education and outreach events.

Investor Justice & Education Clinic (IJEC)

Bruce Sanders, Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney 

Who can apply? 2Ls and 3Ls
Prerequisite or Corequisite Course(s):  Business Organizations, Corporations, Securities Reg I, Securities Reg II, Investment Law, Broker-Dealer Regulation, Hedge Funds
Securities Externship Class/SEC Student Honors Program can be taken as a prerequisite for IJEC I, but not as a corequisite with the IJEC during the same semester.
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long with the option to enroll as an “advanced” student in a second semester, with the professor’s approval.
How many credits? 4

The Investor Justice and Education Clinic (“IJEC”) officially opened in Fall 2010 when Howard University Law School was one of only a very few law schools in the country selected by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Inc. to receive a generous grant to fund the development and operation of an investor protection and education clinical law program. The IJEC offers a beginning level program (“IJEC I”) as a one semester clinic open to 2L and 3L students.

The IJEC also offers an  Advanced level program (“IJEC II”) for students who successfully complete IJEC I, and are approved by the Supervising Attorney.

The IJEC I is generally open to 10 students per semester. In order to enroll in IJEC I students must submit an application to the Clinic, have an interview with the Supervising Attorney, and be accepted into the IJEC by the Supervising Attorney and Clinic’s Director.  In order to qualify for the IJEC I students must complete or enroll in any one of the following requisite courses listed above

We also recommend that students take courses in evidence, trial advocacy, accounting for lawyers, and alternative dispute resolution to prepare for the work of the IJEC.

The IJEC combines classroom instruction with practical skill development while students work on investor client cases against securities broker-dealers.  Students attend classroom instruction for 100 minutes of per week to help provide them with the basic knowledge of the financial markets, financial products, investor protection laws and regulations, and securities arbitration and mediation before Financial Industry Regulatory Authority – Dispute Resolution.  Student Attorneys are assigned investor cases and pursue claims against some of the largest financial services companies in the nation, as well as their brokers and investment advisers. Students will handle cases involving a variety of financial products and transactions including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, stock options, Real Estate Investment Trust (“REITs”), variable annuities, limited partnerships, and initial public offerings.

The instruction and practical experience students will experience will also include topics such as the regulation of securities and market participants under the Securities Acts of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; the regulation of securities broker-dealers by FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission;  how to analyze investor, broker-dealer, and investment adviser documents, including securities account statements and customer agreements; how to recognize potential claims against securities professionals; representing investor clients in FINRA-DR arbitration proceedings; gaining a working knowledge of the FINRA-DR Code of Arbitration Procedure and Mediation; securities portfolio and risk analysis; how capital markets and financial instruments work; and the trading of complex financial products.

Class instruction also includes case presentations, mock arbitration case practice, analysis of ethical, strategic and client representation issues, as well as litigation planning and skill development.

Students are assigned  actual investor cases accepted by the IJEC, and conduct the following activities:  interview investors; conduct factual investigations; analyze investor and broker documentation; research legal issues; draft memoranda; determine if investors claims are eligible for FINRA-DR arbitration;  determine theories of damages regarding investor monetary losses; draft FINRA-DR arbitration pleadings, including Statements of Claim, Requests for Documents and Information, Motions, Briefs, Subpoenas and Orders for production of documents and witness appearances at Hearings; Discovery and pre-Hearing conferences with Arbitrators and opposing counsel; and conduct settlement negotiations on behalf of investor clients with opposing counsel.

The student’s education and training is augmented by guest speakers from FINRA-DR, and the financial services and legal community. In addition, the IJEC makes visits to important financial market institutions such as the New York Stock Exchange, where students receive onsite educational instruction from market professionals during the trading day.

Additionally, students also have an opportunity to work with a team of fellow IJEC students to design, implement, and present at least one investor education and outreach program for the under-served investing community each semester. These programs are designed for the students to serve their communities by providing investment protection education to schools, church groups, retirement communities, scouts, sororities and fraternities, and others. Students provide attendees with a basic understanding of financial markets and professionals, and products, as well as their rights as investors.

The investor education programs also inform the community of the IJEC’s free legal services offered to the under-served investing public. These programs also help the IJEC develop and leverage contacts and relationships with many community groups, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, senior living organizations, fraternities, sororities, and other organizations. The IJEC conducts these programs offsite in the community as well as on the Howard University campus.


Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic (IPTC)

Mariessa Terrell, Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Who can apply? 2Ls and 3Ls
Required Co-requisite Courses: Students must have taken either an IP course before or concurrent with the class.
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long with the option to enroll as an “advanced” student in a second semester, with the professor’s approval.
How many credits? 4

Howard University School of Law participates in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Law School Clinic Certification Program (Trademarks). As a result, this 3-credit semester-long course was created, for which a maximum of ten (10) students will be selected.

The IP & Trademark Clinic course includes a classroom seminar and actual client representation. The one time per week, two-hour classroom seminar includes a review of trademark law & federal registration procedures. The practice includes the representation of individuals and small businesses in their efforts to secure federal trademark registrations with the USPTO.

Student-attorneys are responsible for all aspects of representing clients, under the direct supervision of the IPTC faculty. The practice includes, but is not limited to: adhering to the USPTO’s ethics rules; client interviewing and counseling (e.g., gathering information; reviewing & reporting-out Office Actions & Notices); trademark selection and clearance (e.g., conducting searches; ordering & reviewing search reports; rendering availability opinions) and all aspects of preparing, filing & prosecuting trademark applications before the USPTO (e.g., reviewing Office Actions and drafting responses thereto, and legal research). Students are also required to meet with IPTC faculty once per week for 30 minute supervisory meetings.

Child Welfare/Family Justice Clinic (CWC)

Sabine Browne, Esq., Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Co-requisite Course(s): Evidence and Criminal Procedure
Suggested Course(s): Family Law, Family Law Practice, Children and the Law, Domestic, or Adoption Law
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Year-long
How many credits? 8, upon completion of full year-long course

*Clinic orientation occurs the week prior to regularly scheduled fall classes. Please see your clinic schedule to determine which day you need to return to campus in August.

Howard Law’s Child Welfare Clinic (CWC) is designed to introduce students to a broad array of advocacy and advisory skills and substantive law to enable them to provide direct legal representation to parents who have or are alleged to have neglected or abused their children in a way that has resulted in state intervention.

The Clinic is an eight (8) credit, year-long course and enrolls up to 12 students per year. Admission preference will be given to those students currently participating in our previously established Family Law Certificate Program.

CWC combines classroom instruction with case work. Students will attend three hours of classroom instruction per week, to include the necessary law, legal, ethical and advocacy training and skills required to successfully represent adults involved in child abuse and neglect cases, including Client Interviewing Skills, Trial Advocacy Skills, Family Division Practices and Procedures, DC Rules of Professional Conduct, DC Code Title 16 and Child Abuse & Neglect Attorney Practice Standards. Classes will also include case rounds, analysis of ethical, strategic and client representation issues, litigation planning and litigation skill development. Students will work on cases appointed to the Clinic by the Family Court Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court and accepted by the Supervising Attorney. Students will work on actual court matters with assignments to include interviewing clients by telephone and in person, case analysis and adherence to Child Abuse and Neglect Practice Standards.

Case work includes factual investigation and research of various issues and claims, court appearances, team meetings with other service providers, and community outreach projects, as well as research and preparation of pleadings, motions, memoranda and oral arguments on relevant pending cases. Students staff the intake system (which is an integral component of the clinical program at Howard Law) by devoting in-office hours each week to the Clinic and which include interviewing and triage of requests for representation which come from write-ins, walk-ins, e-mails via our clinical program’s Web site www.law.howard.edu, and referrals from outside organizations.


General Externship Program

Carmia N. Caesar, Adjunct Professor & Director of Experiential Learning

Who can apply? Rising or current 2Ls and 3Ls
Prerequisites None
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long
How many credits*? 4 during the Fall and Spring terms; 6 during the Summer term

*Credits are Pass/Fail

The objective of the Externship Program is to teach students, through practical experiences, about the operation of the legal system and the role of lawyers in that system. Students enrolled in externships work for one semester at a designated field placement at a public (i.e. nonprofit or government) institution or agency in the metropolitan Washington, DC area.

During the fall semester, students must commit to working twelve (12) hours per week for thirteen (13) weeks, and must attend a two-hour weekly seminar. The seminar will explore different factions within the public sector and engage students in a consistent reflection of what it means to be a public interest lawyer. A variety of topics will be explored, including, but not limited to, the development of lawyering skills, problems arising at the placement site, problem solving, ethical issues, discussion of other issues relating to placements, and career opportunities for public interest lawyers.

No enrollment will be permitted, or credit given, for a paid externship. Evaluation will be based on the student’s performance at the placement site (by the law school supervisor and the field supervisor), participation in classroom sessions, student journals and a final paper or presentation.

A student enrolled in the Externship Program shall not be permitted to enroll in a “live-client” clinical course offering during the same semester in which the student is enrolled in the Externship Program.

Students must secure a placement before applying to the program. Useful online tools include Symplicity and psjd.org.  Students are encouraged to discuss placement options with the Adjunct Professor as well as research placements on their own.

Advanced Externship

Carmia N. Caesar, Adjunct Professor & Director of Experiential  Learning

The Advanced General Externship Program (2 credits) is an option for students who have already successfully completed the General Externship Program (either during the academic year or summer) and are interested in pursuing a second externship placement or continuing with their original placement. However, if students are continuing in their original placements for the second semester, they must submit a memo to the Director of Experiential Learning detailing 1) how continuation of their learning agenda differs from the first externship and 2) why these goals cannot be satisfied as a doctrinal or clinical offering at the law school.

Students must commit to working twelve (12) hours per week for thirteen (13) weeks, but are not required to attend a weekly seminar. Instead, students who are approved for the Advanced Externship will have regular individual meetings with their externship professor to ensure quality of work at placement sites. Students will have to submit weekly journal entries, weekly time sheets to their professor, and a final paper on an approved topic. A grade of “pass or fail” will be awarded.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Externships - WBG/IMF

WBG/IMF Alternative Dispute Resolution Program
Homer C. La Rue, Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney

(Mail to: HLarue@law.howard.edu)

Who can apply? Limited to rising 3Ls
Prerequisite Course: ADR Survey Course
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Year-long
How many credits? 8, upon completion of full year

About the Howard Law WBG/IMF ADR Program:

The Howard Law WBG/IMF ADR Program (“Program”) is a competitive eight (8) credit, year-long externship course. The Program is a collaboration between the Law School and various units of the internal justice system of the World Bank Group (the “WBG”) and the International Monetary Fund (the “Fund”).

The Program is a unique collaboration between the Law School ADR Clinic and the General Externship Program, to provide Howard Law students with a capstone ADR experience. Through this program, students are afforded an experiential opportunity to learn how alternative dispute resolution mechanisms function in an international organization. Activities include engagement in mediation services, internal investigations, neutral administrative dispute resolution, and leadership building.

Aligned with Howard Law’s mission of cultivating leaders who can advocate and defend the rights of all, the Program enables students to develop their highest capabilities and skills as lawyers in the international and alternative dispute resolution sectors.

What Are the WBG and the Fund?

The World Bank Group is the largest and most famous international development institution that extends financial and technical assistance to developing nations. Akin to Howard Law’s mission of engaging, as an institution, in pursuit of solutions to international problems, the WBG is committed to reducing poverty and building shared prosperity through reducing the share of the global population that lives in extreme poverty to 3 percent by 2030, and by increasing the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of people in every country. The WBG employs more than 9,000 individuals in over 100 offices worldwide; with a significant number of staff (approximately two-thirds) working in the WBG’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

The International Monetary Fund is an organization that was conceived at a United Nations conference to avoid a repetition of actions that contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s. The IMF has near-global membership with a composition of 189 countries. The IMF also has its headquarters in Washington, DC. Like Howard Law’s mission of engaging in solutions to economic problems, the IMF’s primary purpose is to ensure stability of the international monetary system through fostering global monetary cooperation and working to reduce global poverty.

The internal conflict resolution systems of the WBG and the Fund provide both informal and formal means of addressing staff complaints and employee-related matters.

Acceptance into the Program:

The Program is open to a maximum of ten (10) students each year. A prerequisite for acceptance in the Program is the ADR Survey Course; however, students who have not completed the ADR Survey Course by Spring 2018 may apply for the Program.

Preference for acceptance will be given to students who have taken the ADR Survey course.  In addition, preference will be given to students who have a demonstrated interest in employment law and international relations, although, courses in employment law and international relations are not prerequisites for the Program.

Student-Work in the Program:

Acceptance into the Howard Law WBG/IMF ADR Program will be based on an application and an interview. Externs will work in one of the following units of the IJS: (1) Mediation Services; (2) Integrity Vice Presidency; (3) The Ethics and Business Conduct Vice Presidency; (4) The Staff Association; (5) The World Bank Administrative Tribunal; (6) Peer Review Services; (7) The Legal Institutional Administration; and (8) IMF-Office of Internal Investigations & Ethics Office. Students serve in their assigned unit(s) for the duration of the externship and must work between 13-16 hours per week at the site of the World Bank in Washington or the International Monetary Fund, DC. Students must be available to do so in both the Fall 2018 and the Spring 2019 semesters.

Classroom Component and Credit Hours:

There is a seminar classroom component which meets once per week for 75 minutes. Students will receive a total of eight (8) credit hours for the course, four (4) credits per semester—with the understanding that a student must complete both semesters of the course to receive any credit for the Program overall.


ADR Consortium

John Woods, Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Required Corequisite Course: ADR Survey Course
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Year-long
How many credits? 8 upon completion of full year

What is ADR?: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the use of processes such as negotiation, mediation, or arbitration to resolve disputes instead of litigation.

Program Partners:

  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Areas of Law: Workplace Law, Civil Rights Law, Human Rights Law, Administrative Law, Business Law, and International Trade.

Program Overview:
The mission of ADRC is to provide program participants with experiential education in the administration and application of ADR processes (i.e., negotiation, mediation, and arbitration) in government and industry.

ADRC consists of both a classroom and experiential component.

  • Classroom Component: ADRC includes a weekly seminar where students study the choices available to lawyers concerning the resolution of disputes. Through the use of simulated exercises, the classroom component will give students an opportunity to learn how to represent clients in dispute resolution processes other than litigation. Students will also learn the skills necessary to function as an effective third-party in various disputes. ADR processes that will be examined during this course include, but are not limited to, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. 
  • Experiential Component: Program participants will gain practical experience in targeted ADR processes at partner organizations through work assignments and observations. Program participants will be placed and required to work on-site twelve (12) hours per week in both the Fall and the Spring semesters at one of the following partner organizations:
    • U.S. EEOC (Workplace Mediation);
    • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Mediation); or
    • U.S. Department of Commerce-ITA (International Trade Negotiation).

The objective of ADRC, in part, is to provide participating students with: (1) ADR skills development; (2) training to become problem solvers; (3) in-depth analysis of dispute resolution systems and processes; and (4) hands-on practical experience that bridges theory and practice.


SEC Externship

Cheryl C. Nichols, Associate Professor and SEC Externship Coordinator
Bruce Sanders, Adjunct Professor of Law

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Prerequisite Course(s): None; however, the student must apply for and be accepted into the SEC’s Student Honors Program.
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long
How many credits? 4, on a pass-fail basis

Application Process

Students submit applications directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on the USA Jobs website for a position in the  SEC's Student Honors Program. Students may be required to interview with SEC staff lawyers, and must keep the professor informed of each step of the application process. 

If the student accepts an offer from the SEC, then the professor automatically enrolls the student in the SEC Externhip Class where the student will earn 4 credit hours upon successful completion of the SEC program and class.

About the Program

The SEC Externship provides an exceptional opportunity for students to work as interns in the Washington, DC Headquarters of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Students will also attend weekly classes taught by Professor Cheryl C. Nichols or Adjunct Professor Bruce Sanders, both experts in securities law, securities regulation and related areas.

Students accepted into the program are placed in the SEC’s Student Honors Program where students are assigned to work in one of the Divisions and Offices of the SEC.

Students gain valuable insights into the inner workings of the SEC, the various securities laws and regulations administered by the SEC, as well as the financial markets. 

Students have the opportunity to work on investigations of securities industry participants, securities issuer practices, administrative and civil enforcement actions, drafting of proposed rules, analyzing international securities regulations, and corporation finance, investment company issues, and broker-dealer regulatory matters. Students also review periodic reports of publicly traded companies, as well as securities registration statements and prospectuses of companies that sell securities to public investors.

Students work closely under the supervision and guidance of SEC staff lawyers, who also provide mentoring for students.Students attend educational seminars at the SEC led by senior Commission staff and prominent members of the securities bar and industry.

Students are required to work about 15 hours per week at the SEC for 13 weeks. Students may not be paid for any portion of their internship.

Students are are required to attend and participate in weekly 75 minute seminars taught by the professor during the semester. The weekly seminars provide an overview of the mission and operations of the SEC, the workings of the financial markets, the Federal Securities Laws and Regulations, ethics in securities law practice, development of lawyering skills, and career opportunities for securities lawyers.

Students are evaluated based on their performance at SEC, active participation in classroom seminars, quality of required weekly journals and final paper, and their performance on other assignments by the professor.


IRS Externship

Alice M. Thomas, Associate Professor and IRS Externship Coordinator

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Required Corequisite Course: Federal Individual Income Tax
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long
How many credits? 4

The IRS Externship was founded by Professor Emeritus Alice Gresham Bullock, former dean of the law school. In the course, students are placed in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service here in Washington, DC. In the seminar, the professor exposes students to the practices, policies and procedures of the IRS, as well as the substantive tax laws that govern the work of the Service. Externs secure a field placement with the IRS’ Chief Counsel’s Office and are assigned to work on a variety of projects. Howard Law School externs focus on excellence in governmental and public interest lawyering, social justice issues and professional responsibility. These key components are echoed in the work done at the field placement, as well as during the weekly one-hour required classroom seminars taught by the professor.

The IRS Externship is a four (4)-credit course graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Students are required to work 15-20 hours per week for at least 12 weeks (or other requirements set by the Professor). Students may not be paid for any portion of the field placement for which they are receiving credit. Evaluation will be based on the student’s performance at the placement site (by the law school supervisor and the field supervisor), participation in classroom seminars, periodic reviews of the student’s journal, written work and/or other assignments by the supervising professor. Students may have additional application requirements, such as submitting application materials directly to the IRS, and must follow up with the Professor regarding all application requirements.


Environmental Justice Clinical Externship

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Prerequisite Course(s): None
Recommended Courses: Environmental or Energy Law Course; Administrative Law
Is this program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long 

How many credits? 4

Howard Law School's Clinical Law Center has entered into a unique collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nationally recognized environmental advocacy and litigation firm with a variety of initiatives in many areas of environmental and public health, to establish an environmental law clinical program at the law school. In this clinical offering, Howard law professors in conjunction with NRDC attorneys, public interest and environmental professionals, as well as government officials, will expose students to different aspects and perspectives in environmental law. Students will use experiential learning techniques to reflect upon the work of the environmental lawyer, public interest lawyers in general and litigation in non-profit agencies. Students will work on actual cases at the NRDC, will give topical presentations to the class during seminar sessions, and will prepare for and present a moot court argument.

The EJCE will accept up to a maximum of eight (8) students per semester in which it is offered. Students will receive four (4) credits for successful completion of the course, which will be graded on a pass/fail basis. While there are no prerequisites for the course, recommended companion courses are Administrative Law, Introduction to Environmental Law, Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice. Students must submit applications to the CLC during the regularly scheduled application period and will be interviewed by the Externship Coordinator or attorneys from NRDC. While third year students are preferred, second year students with a particular interest in the field will be considered.

Students in the Environmental Justice Clinic will meet for a two-hour classroom session each week. These sessions will be devoted to the discussion of environmental law and policy and many will include a substantive presentation by an NRDC attorney or a distinguished visiting speaker. Students will be engaged in discussions on current issues in environmental law, environmental policy, and/or environmental lawyering skills, advocacy, legislative strategy, or administrative environmental regulation. One session per semester or extended class periods will be dedicated to a moot court exercise relating to a pending environmental case or timely issue. Each student will be expected to give a brief presentation to the class during the second half of the semester on an important environmental law or justice issue.

The Environmental Justice Clinic emphasizes environmental policy and litigation with a public interest perspective. Participants will work under the supervision of attorneys at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. Approximately 10 to 15 hours of work per week is required. Students will be exposed to a variety of environmental issues including: protection of Washington, DC’s drinking water, Anacostia River, energy efficiency, global warming, public health, clean air, and water pollution.