A pathway to leadership in public service
6th Semester in Washington, D.C. Program students spend the spring semester of their third year living, learning, working and connecting in our nation’s capital. Supported by a large and active network of KU Law alumni in the D.C. metro area, the program opens doors for students in Washington and beyond.
- Live: Spend your final semester of law school immersed in the culture of our nation’s capital with fellow KU Law students.
- Learn: Receive instruction taught by KU Law faculty on topics essential to working in Washington.
- Work: Gain real-world experience in a nearly full-time field placement with a government agency, nonprofit, advocacy group or international organization.
- Connect: Become part of KU Law’s deep D.C.-area alumni community before you graduate. Meet with attorneys, learn about career paths and create your own network.
Navigate to a career in our nation's capital
Participating students finish law school with D.C.-area work on their resumes, giving them a leg up in a competitive job market. They learn how to practice law in a D.C. setting and they build a network of accomplished professionals who know them personally and want to see them succeed.
Make a difference
Students combine their legal skills with a passion for public service in offices and organizations that shape our world and impact policy for decades to come. They work at the center of government agencies, in the heart of national nonprofits, and at the nexus of important issues.
6th Semester in D.C. Program Information
Students who are interested in participating in this program should make an appointment with the program director as early in their law school career as possible — even first-semester 1Ls. This will allow us to work with you throughout your law school career to help you prepare for your D.C. semester, and work toward your ideal D.C. field placement.
Washington, D.C. provides a wealth of opportunities for field placements (externships) with government agencies, think tanks and nonprofit organizations. Our students have found placements in organizations as diverse as:
- Administrative Conference of the United States
- Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
- Department of Homeland Security, ICE, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor
- EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
- Equal Justice Under Law
- House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law
- National Association of Attorneys General
- National Resources Defense Council
- North American Securities Administrators Administration
- Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
- Senate Agriculture Committee
- Senate Judiciary Committee
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Office of General Counsel
Students enroll in 6 to 9 credit hours for the field placement through work at approved organizations. If you are a current KU Law student interested in the 6th Semester in D.C. Program, visit the Field Placement Program page for more details.
In Washington, D.C., you will take classes taught by KU Law faculty that address topics pertinent to D.C. and public service or incorporate local speakers and resources. Courses are offered on a schedule that allows students to balance study and work obligations. You will also be able to take KU Law's Extended Bar Preparation course remotely.
KU Law students take their courses a block from the White House at BAU International University.
Through the 6th Semester in D.C. Program, you will build connections within the D.C. legal, political and public interest communities. As part of the program, you will meet with U.S. senators, members of Congress and their staffs, senior lobbyists, U.S. Supreme Court practitioners and others in small-group settings organized by KU Law.
Participants in the program have met:
- U.S. Senate delegation for Kansas
- Alumni attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Federal Communication Commission
- Alumni attorneys at AMARA Legal Services and Prime Policy Group
They got a behind-the-scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol from Krisann Pearce, L'95, general counsel for the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and met legendary former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole.
When work and study demands aren’t calling, you will be able to take advantage of the city’s wealth of cultural amenities. You can quickly get from the National Mall to locations in Maryland and Virginia, or anywhere around the Beltway. You’ll have time to tour the city, enjoy extraordinary monuments, museums and historic sites; catch a Nationals baseball game; or watch the cherry trees blossom in the spring.
There are many wonderful neighborhoods in and around D.C. where you can live. Please see the program director for more details.
There are no additional tuition costs or program fees for the 6th Semester in D.C. Program. Students are responsible for housing and living expenses.
Glenn Jewell is the director of bar preparation and the director of the Field Placement Program, including the 6th Semester in D.C. Program, at KU Law. He also teaches the Extended Bar Preparation and Employment Law classes at the law school. Prior to joining the law school, Jewell was in private practice on Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, focusing primarily on employment law, civil litigation, and general corporate matters. He also practiced employment law in Kansas City for four years.
Jennifer Schmidt is a lecturer of law at at KU Law. Schmidt joined the KU Law faculty part-time in 2008, became an associate clinical professor in 2017 and became a lecturer of law in 2022. She works at the intersection of law and public policy. Before she coming to KU Law, Schmidt worked as senior counsel to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), as counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committe's Subcommittee on the Courts and more.
Becky Weber is an adjunct faculty member. Since 2002, Weber has been a managing director at Prime Policy Group, a Washington D.C. government relations firm, managing the firm's transportation and infrastructure practice. She has served in a wide variety of government roles including an honors attorney at the U.S. Department of Transporation (DOT), an attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Research and Innovative Technology at the U.S. DOT and on the Bush/Cheney Transition Advisory Team for DOT.
6th Semester program helps make invaluable connections
Maleena Patel, L'23
“I got to network and meet lots of people including the White House Chief of Staff, Jeff Zients and Representative Cori Bush, a progressive Member of Congress from Missouri whom I admire.”
6th Semester program led to 'dream post-grad job in the city'
Heidi Wolff-Stanton, L'22
Field Placement: Equal Justice Under Law
"The 6th semester in D.C. program was a big reason why I chose KU law. I knew from the beginning of law school my goal was to participate in the program, but I never imagined know how much it would change my life and further my career. Through my internship, I gained valuable experience in the area of law I want to practice in, and I learned so much about my own abilities. I fell in love with the city and the growth it gave me, and I knew very quickly I wanted to stay. The 6th Semester in D.C. program led me to accepting my dream post-grad job in the city and moving here permanently, which would not have been possible without the program and I am so thankful I had the opportunity."
6th Semester in D.C. experience was ‘invaluable’ to professional career
Marissa Hotujac, L’20
Field Placement: U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division
"Spending my 6th Semester in D.C. was one of the best decisions I made in law school. I would never have anticipated the professional and personal growth that I would experience during my time in D.C., and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity and the memories made. It was well worth taking the leap out of my comfort zone."
6th Semester in D.C. program helped jump-start my legal career
Emory Saucedo, L’19
Field Placement: National Association of Attorneys General
"The 6th Semester program offers countless unique experiences that you just cannot get in a traditional classroom setting. D.C. is a great way to boost your resume and learn on the job. You will also discover your own abilities and find that it is always an important time to be a leader in compassionate, thoughtful lawyering – the way KU Jayhawk lawyers are taught and trained."