Clinics, Externships, and Legal Practicum

The law school’s location gives Scalia Law students unparalleled opportunities to gain substantial practical experience while in law school and the ability to earn credit for the work they do.  Students may enroll in multiple practice-oriented courses, including the programs listed below, subject to Academic Regulation 3.3-1, which addresses the number of out-of-class credits and pass/fail (or “CR”) credits students may count toward their degree.  Additional information regarding the clinics, externship programs, and legal practicum described below can be found in the Career and Academic Services Office, Suite 150.

Legal Clinic - Administrative Law Clinic

This clinic is offered in partnership with Consovoy McCarthy PLLC, and will involve students in all aspects of the administrative process: from monitoring agency activity, to participating in ongoing matters, to analyzing relevant legislative proposals, to writing briefs on important administrative-law issues. For more information, see Administrative Law Clinic

Legal Clinic - Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic

This clinic teaches students the legal and policy skills required for engaging with Congress, agencies, and courts on behalf of copyright owners. Under the supervision of Professor Sandra Aistars, students will develop substantive legal knowledge in copyright and related areas of law as well as practical skills in research, writing, and advocacy by counseling clients and preparing legal and policy documents. For more information, see Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic.

Legal Clinic - Free Speech Clinic

This clinic provides students with the opportunity to engage in pro bono legal representation of free speech claims under the First Amendment. Clinic students work closely with experienced attorneys to identify cases of interest, research legal issues, and draft motions and briefs. In addition to working with attorneys on cases, students accepted into the clinic will receive weekly classroom instruction on procedural and substantive issues relevant to their cases, federal and state court decisions, and relevant developments in First Amendment law. For more information, see Free Speech Clinic.

Legal Clinic - Immigration Litigation Clinic

This clinic, offered in partnership with Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC), is a year-long clinic (fall and spring semesters) that allows students to gain translatable skills and valuable perspectives on immigration law, specifically the deportation process and federal habeas corpus litigation. For more information, see Immigration Litigation Clinic.

Legal Clinic - Innovation Law Clinic

The Innovation Law Clinic provides teams of students the opportunity to counsel entrepreneurs, creators, and inventors from the university’s internal and external communities. The clinic teaches entrepreneurship and commercializing innovation and creativity, as well as how to craft an overall legal strategy to match a client’s vision.

Legal Clinic - Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic

MVETS was founded in 2004 in response to 9/11 and was the first law school clinic of its kind in the United States. M-VETS enables students to assist active-duty members of the armed forces, their families, and veterans in a wide variety of civil and administrative, litigation and non-litigation matters, including consumer-protection, landlord-tenant, family law, contracts, and military and veterans law and entitlement matters. For more information, see MVETS Clinic.

Legal Clinic - Poverty Law

This clinic is offered in partnership with Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) and provides students with first-hand experience practicing poverty law – laws that apply particularly to the poor and disadvantaged members of our community in the most important aspects of an individual’s life: housing (preventing homelessness and ensuring habitable living conditions); safety protective orders for the health and safety of families); financial stability (consumer protection matters which combat illegal business tactics and protect limited income); and elder advocacy (assisting senior citizens with personal declarative documents, fighting elder abuse, and nursing home discharge matters). For more information, see Poverty Law Clinic.

Legal Clinic - Separation of Powers

The Separation of Powers Clinic allows students to gain practical legal experience identifying cases of interest, researching legal issues, and preparing appellate briefs for ongoing litigation involving separation of powers within the federal government and between the federal and state governments. Students accepted into the Clinic will also receive classroom instruction on separation-of-powers issues, including relevant cases and scholarship.

Legal Clinic - Supreme Court

This Clinic provides pro bono legal representation before the United States Supreme Court. The year-long clinic provides Scalia Law students with the opportunity to work closely with experienced attorneys to identify cases of interest, research legal issues, and draft Supreme Court briefs on behalf of parties and amici at both the certiorari and merits stages. The Supreme Court Clinic is directed by Thomas R. McCarthy from the law firm of Consovoy McCarthy PLLC. For more information, see Supreme Court Clinic.

Legal Practicum: Regulatory Comments

In this legal practicum students engage in the federal regulatory process by analyzing an active regulation and filing public comments (from a public interest perspective) with a federal agency. The course combines practical lectures with workshops on how to analyze regulations and effectively communicate ideas. For more information, see Regulatory Comments Legal Practicum.

Supervised Externship - Bankruptcy

Members of the bankruptcy bar in Northern Virginia run a free Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic to help individual consumers with questions or problems related to bankruptcy, including how to prepare voluntary bankruptcy petitions and other papers that must be filed to initiate a bankruptcy case.  These will be individual consumers who cannot otherwise afford to engage and pay for an attorney to help them prepare the necessary papers. Students are invited to participate in the court clinic through a one-credit externship program. For more information, see Bankruptcy Supervised Externship.

Supervised Externship - Capitol Hill

The Capitol Hill program presents students with the opportunity to experience the intersection of law and policy by earning credit for unpaid work in Capitol Hill offices or committees; in government affairs offices of agencies, corporations, or nonprofits; trade associations; in lobbying firms, and with government affairs groups within law firms. For more information, see Capitol Hill Supervised Externship.

Supervised Externship: Virginia Practice

Through this program, students are placed as interns throughout Northern Virginia, including in Judges’ Chambers, the Office of the Public Defender, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, a City or County attorney’s office, Legal Aid, or in a private attorney’s office. Heavy emphasis is placed on developing students’ litigation skills.  Lecturer in Law Michael L. Davis directs this program, determines individual placements, monitors students’ progress, and coordinates with field supervisors. For more information, see Supervised Externship – Virginia Practice.

Supervised Externships - Fall, Spring, Summer

Through this program, students have undertaken externships in such varied places as the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, Capitol Hill, the Nature Conservancy, the Recording Industry of America, a variety of federal and state courts, the Alexandria Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Legal Services offices across the country, and more. Students secure these unpaid internships on their own in a variety of ways. For more information, see Fall, Spring, Summer Supervised Externships.