Semester In DC Field Placement Program

National Mall, Photo by Jacob Creswick

Jacob Creswick

Nebraska Law supports a student program encouraging students to spend a full semester working and learning in Washington DC. While in DC, students will also take the asynchronous Field Placement (Externship) course. Learning objectives for the course include:

  • Examining the role of attorneys in DC, both within the federal government and in organizations working with or interacting with the federal government
  • Understanding and witnessing the function of administrative agencies and the process of federal lawmaking
  • Reflecting upon the students' collective field work experiences and how they may affect their professional identity and development
  • Where available, students may be paired with alumni mentors during their time in DC, and there will be events to facilitate networking with DC area alumni.

Finding and Developing a Placement

Students are responsible for finding a position in DC - but the Director of Externships, the Career Development Office, and the faculty are here to help! If you're an employer seeking a student, we'd love to help you post a position and identify a great fit for your office. Below are some  resources for students seeking a placement:


Students will earn 12 credit hours in these pre-approved semester long placements. 

Students will have two critical supervisors:

  • Elsbeth Magilton, Nebraska Law Director of Externships
  • The onsite supervisor at the placement

Students must meet with Elsbeth Magilton and receive approval to participate in the program after securing a field placement. Once receiving approval, students must submit the Student Proposal Form. 

Onsite supervisors will be expected to fill out the Nebraska Law Supervisor's Agreement and agree to the Supervisor Manual. Note, logistics for supervisors in the DC program may differ slightly (administratively) from what is outlined in the manual, though expectations for a high degree of mentorship and engagement remain.

Housing Resources

Links to popular housing websites. Some are specifically marketed towards student interns.



Will you bring your vehicle to DC? If so, consider whether your housing includes a parking spot, or if there is street parking.

Public Transportation

Make sure to consult the metro map. Identify your field placement site and its proximity to a metro station or bus stop. Focus on neighborhoods on a direct metro line or with a minimum number of transfers to your field placement location.

Considering Housing Options

  • What features do you need? What would you like to have?
  • Consider whether you need a washer/dryer, dishwasher, or elevator.  If your unit does not have laundry onsite, how close are you to the local laundromat or and dry cleaner?
  • Is it furnished?
  • Are utilities like electricity, water, gas or internet included?
  • Consider where you'd be shopping for groceries or household goods.  If you find housing located some distance from a grocery store, think about whether you can use public transit, or a grocery delivery service (e.g., Instacart or Peapod).
  • Some DC neighborhoods are known for vibrant nightlife. Consider your preferences for a more busy or quiet area.
  • Above all, be flexible.  Keep in mind that this is a short term arrangement and that some creativity can go a long way.

Financial Planning

Costs to student:

  • Nebraska Law Tuition 
  • Housing and Utilities
  • Meals
  • Transportation in DC
  • Travel to DC

Be sure to work with Nebraska's Financial Aid team.

The amount you can borrow increases for different areas to accommodate the cost of living.

Portrait of Elsbeth

Elsbeth Magilton
Director of Externships