Summer Institute in Law and Practice
Are you interested in the study and practice of law? Are you looking for an opportunity to learn more about what it means to practice law at the highest levels? Do you relish the idea of interacting with talented and accomplished legal professionals? Are you seeking to learn more about constitutional and international law in an intensive setting with Georgetown faculty members experienced in both the classroom and the courtroom?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should apply to participate in the inaugural Georgetown University Summer Law Institute in Law and Practice taking place this summer. The Institute is an intensive, ten-week undergraduate program running from Monday, June 5 – Thursday, August 11, 2023. Featuring four three-credit courses: International Law, Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II and Law Practicum, for a total of twelve credits.
The deadline for applications is Friday, April 7, 2023 by 5:00 PM EDT.
The Georgetown University Summer Institute in Law and Practice is an all-inclusive summer program designed to provide currently matriculated Georgetown undergraduate students with an elite-level academic experience while offering a packaged price. This Institute serves as a professional introduction to the study of law, and the profession of law as practiced at the highest levels. If you are an undergraduate student considering a legal career, or are interested in the academic study of law, this experience is designed for you.
The Institute features three key components that work together to further the student’s interest in and understanding of, the study and practice of law: (1) a Coursework Component; (2) a Research Component; and (3) an Experience Component.
- The Coursework Component includes four three-credit courses: International Law, Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, and a Law Practicum. All four courses are taught by Georgetown faculty possessing academic credentials in both political science and law, extensive classroom experience, and professional experience practicing law in both the private sector and government service.
- The Research Component of the Institute requires students to complete a long-form research paper addressing the student’s chosen area of legal scholarship as part of the Law Practicum course.
- Finally, through the Institute’s Experience Component students will participate in weekly meetings offering them the opportunity to interact with and hear from members of the state and federal judiciary, Georgetown University law professors, accomplished attorneys in private practice, government lawyers at the local and federal level (including counsel at the Department of Justice and on Capitol Hill),attorneys serving as in-house corporate counsel, attorneys working in public interest law, and law students currently attending T-14 schools.
All students will receive a minimum $6,000.00 stipend towards this program to include Tuition, Housing, and Dining fees. The stipend will be applied to students’ account balances, and will reflect via billing.
There are minimal prerequisites to be considered for the Institute, such as a basic understanding of the American political system (recommended), and a cumulative GPA to date of a 3.0 or higher.
Student applications to the Institute must include:
- A 250-300 word Statement of Interest (in which students explain why they would like to participate in the program)
- A Contact Reference from one professor, faculty member/advisor, or teaching assistant to speak to the student’s academic performance/talents – Please include Name and Email Address
- A most recent copy of the student’s Unofficial Transcript
- Honor Council Violation Explanation (if applicable)
- Complete Application Form Here
As noted, the deadline for applications is Friday, April 7, 2023 by 5:00 PM EDT. Please deliver hardcopies of your application materials to Professor Joseph Hartman, Summer Institute in Law Program Director, Department of Government, ICC 681.
Applicants will be evaluated by a three-member Government Department faculty committee based on prior academic performance and the quality of Applicants’ Statement of Interest. Applicants will be notified of decisions via email on or before Friday, April 14, 2023.
At the end of the ten-week Georgetown University Summer Law Institute, students will receive all 12-credits, a certificate of completion, and will gain a firsthand understanding of what it means to study and practice law in Washington, D.C. at the highest level. Students will be well-equipped to decide whether pursuing a law degree is in their future.
Students should consult with their dean for academic advisement or for academic questions contact Joseph Hartman via Jeh93@georgetown.edu (new window) . For pricing and questions related to program costs students can email Braysia.Hicks@georgetown.edu (new window).
Frequently Asked Questions
Timing and Content
The Georgetown University Summer Law Institute is a ten-week undergraduate program. This year the Institute will take place from Monday, June 5 – Thursday, August 11, 2023.
The Institute includes four three-credit courses: International Law, Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II and Law Practicum, for a total of twelve credits.
As part of the Institute’s Experience Component you will participate in weekly meetings offering you the opportunity to interact with and hear from members of the state and federal judiciary, Georgetown University law professors, accomplished attorneys in private practice, government lawyers at the local and federal level, including counsel at the Department of Justice and on Capitol Hill, attorneys serving as in-house corporate counsel, attorneys working in public interest law, and law students currently attending T-14 schools.
Cost, Logistics & Practical Information
While you are not required to use University housing, housing is included in the Institute price.
The Institute will be held in person on campus at Georgetown University and at selected locations in the Washington. D.C metropolitan area.
No—the nature of the Institute requires face-to-face classroom instruction and the Experience Component will feature in-person meetings with legal professionals.
You may not partially participate in the Institute. You are expected to attend classes and Experience Component meetings. Any outside commitments you may have, including but not limited to summer internships, cannot conflict with either class meetings or Experience Component events. If you wish to take one of the courses on an a la carte basis you may do so through the Georgetown School of Continuing Studies, space permitting.
Applying to the Institute
The Institute offers undergraduate students an opportunity to learn more about what it means to practice law in Washington D.C.at the highest levels. Students will interact with regular Georgetown Department of Government faculty, studying various components of public law and will also enjoy the opportunity to meet with accomplished legal professionals in private practice, government service, corporate law, public interest work and the judiciary. If you are considering a legal career and/or are interested in the academic study of law, we encourage you to apply to the Institute.
We anticipate notifying students accepted to the Institute on or before Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
You will need to provide us with a few types of information in your application:
- An email address at which we can reach you.
- A Statement of Interest (250-300 words) explaining why you would like to take part in the Institute.
- An email address for one professor, faculty member, mentor or teaching assistant who can provide a letter of recommendation addressing your academic talents.
- An unofficial transcript showing the courses you have taken and your GPA.
There are no prerequisites for the program, although a basic understanding of the American political system is recommended, and you need to have a cumulative GPA to date of 3.0.
I know I need to identify a faculty member who can serve as a reference for me. Should I ask that person to serve as a reference before I put their name down?
Yes, it is a good idea to ask that person if they would be willing to serve as a reference for you before you include their name on your application.
Summer Law Institute Courses
This course explores the theory and practice of international law against the background of the realities of international relations. The course seeks to improve students’ ability to engage in critical thinking, analysis, and independent learning. To that end, reading, discussing, and writing about the assigned material will be the central activities of the course. The goal is to improve students’ analytical ability and capacity for effective oral presentation using a modified form of the “case method” followed in law schools and to prepare students for professional discussions of public international law that occur in the public, private, and non-profit sectors of international affairs.
Course meets June 5 – July 6, Mon. – Thurs., 8:30 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. (3 credits)
This course explores the ways in which judicial interpretation of the U.S. Constitution has created and allocated power to government actors. Much of the popular debate about the U.S. Supreme Court centers on claims of civil rights and liberties. The Framers of the Constitution, however, believed that the greatest protection of liberty could be found in the way government was structured, and that the promise of civil rights and liberties was of little use without decentralized government and an effective system of checks and balances.
Using a caselaw approach, we will build our understanding of judicial perspectives on the structure of American government by analyzing major decisions of the Supreme Court and examining basic Constitutional principles controlling the exercise of governmental power. Topics covered include the theory and practice of judicial review, approaches to Constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, executive prerogatives, the reserved powers of the states, and an introduction to the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection and due process guarantees. We will also explore ways that other political and governmental actors create alternative or rival Constitutional interpretations and the societal construction of judicial and legal authority.
Course meets June 5 – July 6, Mon. – Thurs., 8:30 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. (3 credits)
This course explores the ways that the Constitution limits governmental authority over individuals within the U.S. by examining four issues within civil rights and civil liberties, broadly conceived: (1) the right to privacy, including abortion, the right to die and intimate associations; (2) free exercise of religion and the establishment clause; (3) freedom of speech and expression; and (4) equal protection, focusing on racial, gender and LGBTQ+ discrimination.
Course meets July 10 – Aug. 10, Mon. – Thurs., 8:30 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. (3 credits)
This course will provide students insight into the professional responsibilities and experience of legal professionals in the judiciary, federal and state government, private practice and public interest. Students will participate in lectures, panel discussions/workshops, visits to courthouses, law offices and government agencies, and meetings with legal professionals. The course will take full advantage of the University’s unique location proximate to Washington D.C. federal agencies, legislative bodies and courts. Students will also be required to identify a relevant research area of public law and complete a long-form paper on the chosen research area.
Course meets weekly, June 5 – Aug. 10 (3 credits)