Law and Public Policy Program (LPP)
The Law and Public Policy Program (LPP), established in 1984, is for students interested in careers in the public policy arena. Taking advantage of Catholic Law’s location in Washington, DC, the program offers specialized courses and externships, opportunities for interdisciplinary study, academic counseling, and cocurricular activities designed to expose students to the public policy-making process. The Program trains students in the skills important to lawyers who participate in the development of law and policy in legislative, administrative, and judicial fora. Students in the program observe and participate in the practice of public policy law and study the lawmaking roles played by lawyers. LPP students also do extensive research and writing on public policy issues and engage in hands-on advocacy work.
LPP students must take the following courses: Administrative Law, Becoming a Public Policy Lawyer, a course of the student’s choosing that focuses on a particular area of public policy, one of five politics electives, and the Public Policy Practicum. The Practicum provides students with the opportunity over the course of their final year in law school to develop their own public policy proposal and learn how to advocate for its implementation. Additional information about course requirements is here.
In addition to coursework, students enroll in two externships for credit. Externships are focused on public policy issues and may take place on Capitol Hill, at a government agency, with a nonprofit group, at a law firm, or at one of Catholic Law’s many top clinical offerings, among other possibilities. Examples of externships may be found here. As an alternative to a second externship, students may take a Politics Elective course.
The LPP Program also sponsors a speaker series, which offers LPP students the opportunity to engage in discussion of important public policy topics, meet policy makers, and learn about career pathways from lawyers engaged in public policy work.
Students should apply for admission to the LPP Program concurrently with their application to the law school. Students may also apply by March 30 of their first year.
LPP students who successfully complete program requirements are awarded a certificate in Law and Public Policy upon graduation. The certificate reflects that the student graduated from law school familiar with policy research and with actual experience in the implementation of policy.
The Certificate offers potential employers assurance that the holder is ready to practice and possesses many of the skills essential for lawyers working in the policy arena.