Semesters offered:




The Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention (DSTDP) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides externs with the opportunity to work on a wide variety of novel and important legal and policy issues. DSTDP provides technical assistance to non-profit and federal, state and local partners on legal and policy matters concerning STD prevention. This includes, but is not limited to, federal, state, and local laws and policies concerning healthcare confidentiality, expedited partner therapy, communicable disease reporting and interventions, and aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

Students will perform research into relevant state laws across multiple states and perform analysis and "coding" of these laws for use in scientific research. In addition, students will research, analyze, and write memos concerning novel federal, state, and local legal issues and write manuscripts for legal and science journals concerning the results of their research. Students will participate in division and team meetings, attend CDC-wide lectures, and work closely with DSTDP staff on other public health law-related matters.


Prerequisites: None


  • Second or third-year law students
  • Background in science, public health, or healthcare field helpful


  • Student must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
  • At the time of application, you must submit a one paragraph statement (approximately 50 - 75 words) of why you want to take this externship and a brief writing sample on a topic of your choice.
  • Interviews will be conducted at the CDC. If you are selected to interview, be sure to allow at least 20 minutes before the scheduled interview time to complete the security clearance process.
  • Student should be available on Tuesday afternoons to attend team meetings.