Clinics

Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic

LW.12230 / LW.12231
Professor Sally Katzen
Professor Robert Bauer
Open to 3L students only
Maximum of 15 students

Fall semester
14 credits*
Prerequisites: Legislation and the Regulatory State

Note: THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THIS CLINIC CLOSED on 2/7/14.

Introduction

The Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic is designed to introduce students to the roles and skills of the government lawyer. The clinic will provide practical experience with how lawyers support the development and implementation of public policy by assisting in defining the available options and identifying and resolving issues before they become the subject of legal contention or litigation. It will emphasize what lawyers do and what they need to know in the policy arena in order to provide effective legal counsel, sharpening such skills as analysis, writing, advocacy and problem solving. The clinic will provide an understanding of government decision-making that will be important for those students intending to seek positions in the government and it will offer those heading to the private sector greater insight into the workings of government that often significantly affect their clients. While the focus will be in Washington, DC, and hence the federal government, both the processes and the skills required are readily transferable to state or local government decision-making.

Course Description

Fieldwork

Each student will work four days a week in a federal agency or congressional office. The objective is to provide hands-on experience with how governmental entities approach policy issues, including determining the appropriate response to an issue via various possible administrative actions (e.g., rule-making, adjudication, negotiation, interpretation, policy statements, enforcement, or drafting legislation); compiling an adequate record to support the selected action; evaluating private interest advocacy in influencing decisions; and analyzing and assisting in shaping the competing strategies to achieve the desired objectives. Within federal agencies, placements will generally be in the Office of General Counsel of regulatory agencies or related positions; congressional placements will generally be in leadership offices, with committee staffs or non-partisan congressional agencies. Every effort will be made to assure placements that provide students with solid substantive work and adequate supervision. Placements will be dependent in part on a student’s experiences and interests.

Seminar

On one day a week, there will be a three-hour seminar that will provide an understanding of how the political institutions (Congress and the Executive Branch) work, and the roles and obligations of lawyers in influencing that process. For up to one hour of each class, one or more students will discuss (subject to confidentiality concerns) their experiences in their fieldwork, especially the governmental processes in which the students are participating and the government actors with whom they are interacting. In the remaining time, we will cover over the semester: the scope of Congress’ constitutional authority; the Senate and House leadership and committee structure(s) and their powers; how a bill becomes a law, including the role of hearings and mark-ups, conference committees, and the development of statements of administration policy; the budget process, including the preparation of the President’s budget by the Office of Management and Budget and Congress’ review and enactment of the budget, with its work on appropriations, continuing resolutions and omnibus bills, as well as tax legislation; congressional oversight and the Executive Branch response, including the exercise of investigative powers and claims of executive and other privileges; and ethics (professional responsibility), including issues unique to government lawyers; and, more generally, the issues of the role of private interests as examined through direct and grassroots lobbying, recurring issues of conflict of interest, and campaign financing. There will also be occasional extended (several hours) working sessions with government officials as guest lecturers on a subject of current interest or controversy. In addition, each student will be expected to produce a serious research/analytical paper, with a minimum length of 35 pages, on a subject approved by the seminar professor(s) that focuses on the legislative and regulatory process, or on an issue with which government lawyers are currently grappling. The paper will be due no later than the end of the semester following the clinic.

Application Procedure

Students interested in applying for the clinic should submit the standard application, resume, and transcript online through CAMS by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 7, 2014. Members of the Fall 2013 LRP Clinic will host an information session about the clinic the week before applications are due. Preference will be given to those with 2L courses in advanced administrative law (either process – e.g., advanced administrative law -- or substance – e.g., environmental law) and demonstrated motivation to engage in the work of the agencies or Congress. If a student has taken a year-long clinic in his or her second year of law school and has already received 6 credits of fieldwork, then 2 of the fieldwork credits from this clinic will not count toward graduation because 12 is the maximum number of fieldwork credits that can be counted toward graduation. The application process includes at least one interview with the Professors. You will be notified by February 17th to schedule your interview. Note that students who are offered and accept a position in the Fall 2014 LRP Clinic will not be eligible to apply for additional clinics offered in the 2014-15 academic year. If you have questions regarding the application procedure, please contact Susan Hodges or Sally Katzen.


* 14 credits includes 8 clinical (fieldwork) credits and 6 academic seminar credits for the semester.