Immersed, hands-on learning is integral to Wake Forest’s holistic approach to education.
To facilitate real-world engagement, the University has forged relationships with numerous agencies, organizations and individuals in the nation’s capital, many in close proximity to the Wake Washington Center. Through opportunities like internships, shadowing and mentorship, Wake Washington students experience real-time learning unique to on-the-job immersion.
To tie experiential learning with classroom instruction, students in the internship and study program also conduct independent research, making meaningful connections and providing cohesion to their inside- and outside-the-classroom experiences. Students intern Monday-Thursday full time and take classes in the evenings. Fridays are reserved for students to hear from alumni and parent speakers, special tours of museums, the Capitol, the Pentagon, etc., as well as networking with alumni, parents in their field of interest.
Select third-year law students have the opportunity to spend the spring semester in practice in the most diverse and vibrant legal environment in the world. The D.C. Spring Metropolitan Externship includes both an externship and classroom component as well as a conferences, roundtables, symposia and lectures. Students spend approximately 35 hours per week interning in a government agency or non-governmental organization. The types of placements include Executive Branch offices such as the Departments of Justice or State, or independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, or Federal Elections Commission. Non-governmental groups include advocacy groups, human rights organizations and trade associations. International organizations, such as the IMF or World Bank, are also included in the program. Whatever the setting, students engage in the kinds of tasks performed by lawyers in Washington, under the immediate supervision of an experienced attorney or attorneys in the particular office.
The D.C. Summer Judicial Externship Program (“DCSJE”) is an exciting opportunity that places first-year and second-year law students into unpaid summer externships at some of the most vibrant and influential courts and federal agencies in Washington, D.C. Students spend at least eight weeks during the summer externing at a participating court or agency in Washington, D.C. They also attend a weekly, evening experiential course that is tailored to judicial clerking. The course is taught by Professor Abigail Perdue, a former federal law clerk and author of The All-Inclusive Guide to Judicial Clerking. DCSJE students hear from engaging guest speakers, have lunch with federal judges, and visit historical points of interest. Students are also paired with one or more Wake Forest University School of Law alumni living and working in the Washington, D.C. area, who mentor them throughout the summer.