Externships - UCDC Law Program
The UCDC Law Program is a uniquely collaborative, full-semester externship program in Washington, DC. The program combines a weekly seminar-style course with a full-time field placement to offer law students an unparalleled opportunity to learn how federal statutes, regulations, and policies are made, changed, and understood in the nation’s capital. During four months’ total immersion in the theory and practice of Washington lawyering, students will have contact with all three branches of the federal government, independent regulatory agencies, and advocacy nonprofits.
The program includes law students from Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, and UC Irvine. Students will receive 13 units for successful completion of the program: 10 units for the field placements and 3 units for the required companion course, “Law and Lawyering in the Nation’s Capital.”
As of now, there is no cap on enrollment. The program typically enrolls between 15 and 35 students. The program is housed at the University of California Washington Center, a UC facility located at 1608 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W., just minutes from the White House and most government departments and agencies.
Students’ externships in the UCDC Law Program have two main components: full-time lawyering at the externship site, and the 3-credit once-a-week evening companion class.
The seminar is designed to enhance the externship experience in three principal ways. First, students will learn about the process of federal lawmaking directly from leading government lawyers, lobbyists, and public interest advocates. Second, they will explore new career opportunities unique to lawyering in Washington, even as they enhance their skill sets for success in any career path. Third, they will investigate the unique roles of lawyers in making and changing federal law and policy.
Class sessions include frequent guest speakers and class discussion based on students’ questions. Part of each session will be devoted to a “grand rounds”-style exchange to facilitate peer-to-peer learning about lawyering at the broad range of externship sites. Each student will write a final paper on a legal topic relevant to the externship, selected in consultation with the instructor and the externship supervisor. The final classes of the term are devoted to student presentations on their externships or their final papers in progress.
This application will allow you to work with the UCDC Law Program Director to identify the placements that will best meet your goals and preferences. You may not apply directly to placements until you have been approved for participation by the UCI Dean of Students. You may not accept any offer until you have spoken with the UCDC Program Director and she has approved the placement. Apply to the Program as early as possible in the semester before you want to participate.
Schedule a telephone appointment with the UCDC Law Program Director. This brief telephone conference is an opportunity for the earliest possible individual attention and advice for identifying a placement in line with your academic and professional interests and goals. Keep in mind, though, you may start applying to placements as soon as the Dean of Students has approved your UCI Externship Registration.
Nicole V. Lehtman is the newly appointed Director of the University of California Washington DC Law Program. Prior to joining the UCDC Law Program, Ms. Lehtman served as the first program manager and adjunct professor for the Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Washington DC Legal Externship Program. In that position, Ms. Lehtman was responsible for counseling law students from across the country on available externship opportunities with the federal government and DC-based non-profit organizations; and provided students with support and guidance throughout their time in Washington, DC. Ms. Lehtman also has served as an adjunct professor in the Trial Advocacy program at American University’s Washington College of Law.
Ms. Lehtman has extensive government experience working as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice. Most recently, Ms. Lehtman served as a trial attorney in the Justice Department's Criminal Division, Office of International Affairs, where she coordinated international extradition and mutual legal assistance matters involving Latin America. Ms. Lehtman previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia where she was responsible for prosecuting criminal actions in the District of Columbia on behalf of the United States. Ms. Lehtman also has worked at a private law firm in South Florida specializing in civil litigation and international arbitration.
Born in Miami, Ms. Lehtman is a native Spanish speaker whose family is from Santiago, Chile. She is a graduate, cum laude, of American University’s Washington College of Law and of the University of Miami, where she graduated, with honors, with a degree in Political Science and International Studies.
Brian Guayante is a Program Assistant for the UCDC Law Program. He is a native of Southern California and a graduate of the University of California, Riverside, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. Brian is also an alumnus of the UCDC Program, in which he participated in the summer of 2010. Before joining UCDC Law, Brian interned with the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General and the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. Both experiences piqued an interest in a legal career for which he is currently preparing.
UCDC Law Program
University of California Washington Center
1608 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W., Room 342
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: (202) 974-6392
Fax: (202) 974-6250
Web site: ucdc.edu/academic/ucdc-law-program
Nicole Lehtman, Director
Brian Guayante, Program Assistant