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Legal Studies


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May 25 - July 29, 2016
Extended Application Deadline: April 6, 2016

Spend a summer in the nation’s capital with law students from around the country who are all passionate about public policy and law. The intensive schedule is designed to maximize your time in Washington by combining learning in the classroom with practical internship experience. LSI will give you an insider’s view of Washington, and by the end of the summer you may be ready to call DC home!

Program Format

LSI consists of the following major components:

  • Academic course on the Economic Foundation of Legal Studies with credit awarded by George Mason University School of Law.
  • Legal internships with private law firms, lobbying firms, public interest legal organizations, and legal departments of trade associations, corporations and government agencies throughout the Washington area.
  • Guest lectures and panel discussions featuring policy and legal experts.
  • Site briefings at key legal institutions and courts.
  • Professional development seminars, mentor program and networking events.

Your participation also includes these exclusive benefits designed to make your summer in DC an experience to remember:

  • Housing in furnished apartments in the heart of DC.
  • Roommate matching with other institute students based upon compatibility criteria.
  • Easy access to the safe and affordable Metro train and bus system.
  • Comprehensive orientation to the program, housing and the city upon your arrival.
  • Dedicated program staff members who are available to communicate with you about your internship placement, financial aid and general questions in the months leading up to the program.
  • Continued staff support while you are in Washington to ensure that you have an amazing experience.
  • Planned social events where you can connect with program participants. These events may include: a trip to a Nationals baseball game, volunteer projects, canoeing on the Potomac and a trip to Mt.Vernon.
  • An active network of over 15,000 alumni worldwide to join upon the completion of the program.

Find Out More

Be sure to check out the tabs to your left to read more about all aspects of the program. We accept applications on a rolling basis, so start your application anytime by clicking on the “Apply Online” link on the left-hand menu. Our staff is here to answer any question you may have – please see “Contact Us” for details on how to reach us.

“The Legal Studies Institute was the epitome of a challenging, yet rewarding summer experience that indisputably helped to enhance my professional skills.”

Shaun Cummings, Stetson University College of Law
Intern, Law Offices of Scott J. Bloch


Program Dates
Students should plan to arrive on Wednesday, May 25. Students will be allowed to check into their Capitol Hill apartments between 10:00am - 2:00pm. Orientation and program activities will be planned for that afternoon and all day on Thursday, May 26 and Friday, May 27.  Students will be required to move out of the apartments on Friday, July 29 by 10:00am. Further details on arrival logistics, registration and orientation will be provided as the summer approaches.

General Weekly Schedule

This schedule is only meant to give an idea of the summer’s general structure.  It is subject to change according to events and briefings.  There may also be select optional events during the work day. You will receive updated weekly calendars by e-mail throughout the summer.

9:00AM – 5:00PM      Internships (Internships  begin Tuesday, May 31)
6:30PM – 7:30PM       Guest Lecture/Professional Development Session*

9:00AM – 5:00PM      Internships
6:30PM – 9:30PM       Class: Economic Foundations of Legal Studies

9:00AM – 5:00PM      Internships
6:30PM – 9:30PM       Class: Economic Foundations of Legal Studies

9:00AM – 5:00PM      Internships
6:30PM – 7:30PM       Guest Lecture/Professional Development Session*

9:00AM – 5:00PM      Internships
12:00PM - 1:00PM      Site Visits to Washington Institutions

*Please note: Guest Lectures and Professional Development Sessions will most often be scheduled on either Monday or Thursday evenings; typically only one night a week.

Saturday & Sunday
Optional Weekend Activities Provided: activities can include touring Mt. Vernon, attending a Washington Nationals baseball game, or visiting a museum.

Board of Visitors

The Legal Studies Institute board of visitors is comprised of prominent working professionals in the D.C. community. They voluntarily assist in the planning of and fundraising for the Institute as well as offer their support with guest lecturers and internship placement. Their focus is to ensure that all students leave with an enhanced understanding of the functionality of government and a valuable experience that will benefit their future career goals.

John S. Baker
Visiting Fellow, Oriel College, University of Oxford
Visiting Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

Randy E. Barnett
Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory
Georgetown University Law Center

Frank J. Donatelli
Executive Vice-President
McGuireWoods Consulting LLC

Todd Gaziano
Executive Director, Washington, DC Center & Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law
Pacific Legal Foundation

Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg
U.S. Court of Appeals – D.C. Circuit

Gregory R. Lyons
Wiley Rein LLP

Hon. Edwin Meese III
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow
Chairman, Center for Judicial and Legal Studies
The Heritage Foundation

Cleta Mitchell
Foley & Lardner LLP

Thomas C. Morrison
Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP

Daniel D. Polsby
Dean and Professor of Law
George Mason Law Center

Peter K. Redpath
Vice President & Director of Student Division
The Federalist Society

Ilya Shapiro
Senior Fellow, Center for Constitutional Studies
Editor-in-Chief, Cato Supreme Court Review
The Cato Institute

DISCLAIMER: Members of the LSI Board of Visitors serve in a personal capacity and do not represent their listed employers.