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 seven (7) live-client clinical experiences: the Legislative Clinic (LC), the Criminal Justice Clinic (CJC), the Fair Housing Clinic (FHC), the Civil Rights Clinic (CRC), the Investor Justice and Education Clinic (IJEC), the Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic (IPTC), and the Child Welfare/Family Justice 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; new 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; Alternative Dispute Resolution Consortium (EEOC, Dept. of Homeland Security, International Trade Administration); and the ADR-Experiential Learning Program with the World Bank (ADRELP).

For legal assistance, call our intake line at (202) 806-8082.


Faculty and Staff

Criminal Justice Clinic

Kelli I. Neptune
Visiting Professor and Supervising Attorney

Fareed Nassor Hayat
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Civil Rights Clinic

TBA
Professor

Fair Housing Clinic

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

Investor Justice and Education Clinic

Bruce Sanders
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic

Mariessa Terrell
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Child Welfare Clinic

Sabine Browne
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Legislative Clinic

Josephine Ross
Professor and Supervising Attorney

Externship Programs

Carmia N. Caesar
Adjunct Professor and Director of Experiential Learning

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

Cheryl C. Nichols
Professor and Supervising Attorney

Bruce Sanders
Adjunct Professor, SEC Externship

Alice M. Thomas
Associate Professor and IRS Externship Coordinator

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


Application Process

(The application for 2017-2018 is now closed).

To be eligible for enrollment in any CLC program, interested students must first complete an application package, which includes a resume and a personal statement of interest. Students may apply to multiple programs and must complete a separate application for each program for which they wish to apply. 

Following application submission, students must be accepted by the Supervising Attorney or Adjunct Professor of the particular program for which the student has applied. This will include an in-person interview, which can be scheduled on TWEN under Clinical Law Center Administrative Page 2017-2018.  
https://lawschool.westlaw.com/twen/course/214031/join/WW9RQQUHSLBTN2E7M3BB”.
 

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 semester. 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. 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 Ms. Marilyn Toran via email at mtoran@law.howard.edu.


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, Civil Rights, 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 17, 2017. 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 2017 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

Mail to: kelli.i.neptune@Howard.edu 

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

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.


Civil Rights Clinic (CRC)

Supervising Attorney TBA

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Prerequisite Course(s): None
Recommended Courses: Any course in Federal Courts, Civil Rights
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 Civil Rights Clinic litigates on behalf of indigent clients in civil rights and social justice cases. Students in the clinic represent pro se plaintiffs in federal and state appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Cases include a range of civil rights matters such as employment and housing discrimination, police brutality, denial of full voting rights, unconstitutional prison conditions, and procedural barriers that preclude indigent litigants from effective access to the courts. Students work with faculty in classroom-seminar and clinical-practice settings to review the trial court record, prepare the appendix for appeal, consult with the client, research and write the appellate briefs, and prepare and conduct oral argument when such argument is granted by the court. The pedagogical goal of the Clinic is for students and faculty to critically examine the analytical and linguistic challenges of effective courtroom advocacy, the legal and strategic considerations of the appellate process, the ethical and professional obligations of client representation, and the social and political implications of civil rights advocacy.

Fair Housing Clinic (FHC)

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

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

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

There is no prerequisite for Fair Housing Clinic I.

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 

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

Who can apply? 2Ls and 3Ls
Required Co-requisite Course(s): Any one of the following courses: Securities Regulation, Broker-Dealer Regulation, Introduction to Investment Law and Practice, Hedge Funds, or Corporations.

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, following the award of a generous grant by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Students who successfully complete the basic IJEC course have the opportunity to enroll in the IJEC for an additional semester as an advanced student.

IJEC combines classroom instruction with work on actual investor cases. Students attend two hours of classroom instruction per week to provide them with the requisite understanding of the financial markets, investor protection laws and regulations, and securities arbitration and mediation to successfully handle and resolve investor claims. The instruction includes topics such as the regulation of securities by the Securities Acts of 1933 and Securities Exchange Act of 1934; the regulation of securities broker-dealers by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA-DR”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission; how to analyze investor documents, including securities account statements and customer agreements, and recognize securities trading violations; the FINRA-DR arbitration and mediation procedures available to resolve investor–broker disputes; securities portfolio theory and risk avoidance analysis and strategies; how capital markets and financial instruments work and interact; the purchase of complex financial instruments in the securities markets; and statutory and rule interpretation. Class instruction also involves case presentations, mock arbitration case practice, analysis of ethical, strategic and client representation issues, as well as litigation planning and skill development.

Students work on cases accepted by the Supervising Attorney, and do the following: interview investors by telephone and in person; conduct factual investigations; analyze investor and broker documentation; investigate and 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; conduct pre-Hearing conferences with Arbitrators and opposing counsel; and conduct settlement negotiations with opposing counsel.

Additionally, students design, implement, and participate in at least one investor education and outreach program for the underserved investing community each semester. These programs are designed to provide investment education to the community by, among other things, conducting investment workshops and seminars to teach investors their rights and help them protect themselves from harmful investment schemes. These programs also inform the community of the free legal services offered by the IJEC. 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 at sites in the community, as well as at the Law School.

Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic (IPTC)

Mariessa Terrell, Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

(Mail to: Mariessa.Terrell@Howard.edu)

Who can apply? 2Ls and 3Ls
Required Co-requisite Courses: Trademark Law (concurrent enrollment in the IPTC and Trademark Law is not permitted)
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 4-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 client representation. The weekly 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 and 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 and prosecuting trademark applications before the USPTO (e.g., reviewing Office Actions and drafting responses thereto, and legal research).

Child Welfare/Family Justice Clinic (CWC)

Sabine Browne, Esq., Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney

Mail to: sbrowne@law.howard.edu

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Co-requisite Course(s): Evidence and Criminal Procedure; suggested courses include 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

Howard Law’s Child Welfare/Family Justice 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.

Legislative Clinic (LC)

Josephine Ross, Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney

Mail to: jross@law.howard.edu

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Prerequisite Course(s): None
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Year-long
How many credits? 6, upon completion of full year-long course

The Legislative Clinic focuses on a criminal justice issues. Hyper-criminalization and mass incarceration is now widely recognized to have had a disastrous effect on African-American families and to be responsible for a good deal of the current inequality. There are many facets to this problem, requiring legal minds trained to analyze policy, to understand our system of government and to put forth cogent arguments both oral and written.

The clinic is structured so that students represent an organizational client. Thus, instead of advancing a student’s personal concerns, the student will advance the interest of the client. Nevertheless, students will get more out of the clinic if they arrive with an interest in criminal justice and a desire for reforming the current systems. Professor Ross has selected the Justice Roundtable as our client for the 2016 to 2017 year. The Justice Roundtable is a coalition of over 100 organizations working toward criminal justice reform. There are several working groups within the Justice Roundtable that share information and help advance change by various methods including advancing and opposing federal and state legislation. Based on what the client’s interests are, students will target one or more of the following areas for reform: collateral consequences of convictions, juvenile justice, policing, prison conditions, race and gender fairness, restorative justice, and sentencing.

This course aims to take advantage of our law school’s location for the District of Columbia is the seat of our federal legislative and executive branches, as well as the judicial branch. It is also home to many non-profit organizations that seek to change the law through legislative and lobbying efforts. There are many aspects to legislative lawyering from research to writing bills and policy papers to building support for proposals. Students will have an opportunity to work on specific legislative projects and develop oral communication, analysis, research and written skills, and soft skills too, such as collaboration and professionalism.

There will be a classroom component to the course where students will discuss reading and research assignments and take part in simulations. Classes will teach skills such as drafting, researching and understanding the policy behind proposed bills.


General Externship Program

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

Mail to: carmia.caesar@law.howard.edu

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

Mail to: carmia.caesar@law.howard.edu

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-World Bank

ADR Experiential Learning Program (ADRELP)
Homer C. La Rue, Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney

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

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

The ADRELP is a collaboration between the Law School and various units of the Internal Justice System (“IJS”) of the World Bank Group (the “WBG”). The World Bank Group is an international development institution that extends financial and technical assistance to developing nations to combat poverty and promote economic growth. The WBG employs more than 9,000 individuals in over 100 offices worldwide. A significant number of the staff (approximately two-thirds) works in the WBG’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The Bank’s IJS conflict resolution system provides both informal and formal means of addressing staff complaints. The work of the students in the ADRELP will be in one or more of the units of the IJS.

The participating units of the IJS of the WBG in which students may be placed include but are not limited to: (1) Mediation; (2) Office of Integrity; (3) Office of Business Ethics; (4) IJS Coordinator; (5) HR Case Management; (6) The Administrative Legal Unit; and (7) Peer Review. During the course of the year-long program, a student may rotate from one unit to another.

The ADRELP is also a unique collaboration between the Law School ADR Clinic and the General Externship Program, to provide Howard Law students with a capstone ADR experience. In the IJS of the WBG, law students will be afforded an experiential opportunity to learn how alternative dispute resolution mechanisms function in an international organization.

The ADRELP is an eight (8) credit, year-long clinical course offering. The course is open to a maximum of ten (10) students each year. Although courses in employment law and international relations and law are not prerequisites, consideration will be given to those students who have a demonstrable interest in employment law and international relations.

Students must be available to work between 12-16 hours per week at the site of the World Bank in Washington, DC, and must be available to do so in both the Fall 2016 and the Spring 2017 semester. Preference for enrollment will be given to rising 3Ls, who have taken the ADR Survey course, and who have a demonstrable interest in employment law and international relations. Enrollment in the ADRELP will be based on an application and an interview. There will be a seminar classroom component which meets once per week for 75 minutes. This classroom component may be taught by a combination of full-time faculty at the Law School and adjunct faculty. 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 in order 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
  • U.S. Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration (ITA)

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

The SEC Externship provides an exceptional opportunity to learn about aspects of securities law and practice otherwise unavailable at the School of Law. The SEC Externship is regularly taught by Professor Cheryl C. Nichols or Adjunct Professor Bruce Sanders, who are both experts in securities regulation and related areas. Students who are accepted into the program are placed in the SEC’s Law Student Observer Program which provides exposure to the workings of the Commission and to the regulation of securities and securities markets. Externs are assigned to one of the Commission’s Divisions or Offices at its headquarters in Washington, DC. Externs will have the opportunity to work on projects such as investigations of industry and issuer practices, administrative and civil enforcement actions, drafting of proposed statutes and rules, and analyzing international securities regulations and rules. In addition to the field work component, Howard Law School externs are required to attend educational seminars taught by senior Commission staff and prominent members of the private securities bar on a weekly basis. Howard Law School externs are also exposed to excellence in governmental and public interest lawyering, which facilitates development of insights into the skills required for lawyering unobtainable in a conventional classroom. Students are required to attend and participate in a weekly 75 minute seminar taught by the professor. The seminar focuses on a variety of issues and topics including, but not limited to, an overview of the mission and operations of the SEC, ethics in securities law practice, development of lawyering skills, problems arising at the placement site, discussion of other issues relating to placements and career opportunities for securities lawyers.

The SEC Externship is a four (4)-credit course graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Externs are required to work 15-20 hours per week for at least 13 weeks. 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 sessions, periodic reviews of the student’s journal, and other assignments by the professor. Students may have additional application requirements, such as submitting application materials directly to the SEC, and must follow up with the professor regarding all application requirements.


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.