Government Lawyer: Semester in Washington Clinical Seminar

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Spring 2014 Course
3 classroom credits

Required Clinic Component: Government Lawyer: Semester in Washington Clinic, either during winter-spring (2 winter credits + 6 spring credits) or spring clinic (6 spring credits). Students must enroll in one of these two clinic offerings (winter-spring or spring) before they are permitted to enroll in this required course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: Yes. Applications to the clinic are due TBD.
Add/Drop Deadline: December 6, 2013 for winter-spring clinic students. January 17, 2014 for spring clinical students.
LLM Students: LLM students are not eligible to enroll.

This seminar is taught in conjunction with the Government Lawyer: Semester in Washington clinic. In the clinic, students spend the entire spring term (except for Spring break) in Washington, D.C. working as legal interns in federal offices. Students may participate in the clinic during the winter term as well (there is no course work during the winter term). Students are required to work 40 hours per week in the winter term, and at least 30 hours a week in the spring term. Clinical work exposes students to the distinct forms of lawyering practiced by government attorneys in diverse policy positions in the federal government. Placements are principally in federal government offices where lawyers conduct research and provide legal advice and assistance on policy, legislative or regulatory matters, rather than investigating and litigating cases.

Students attend this seminar in the evening twice a week during the spring semester. Readings and classroom discussions are supplemented by guest speaker events and visits to government offices on several occasions throughout the semester. Case studies will supplement the core readings. The seminar will focus on the role of the government lawyer in policymaking and the many forces that influence the work of policymaking generally, and the government lawyer's part in that process specifically. The course examines the skills required of government attorneys in policymaking, the unique ethical, legal, and moral issues they face, and the impact of politics and ideology on their work. The course explores the role of think tanks and interest groups on policymaking, the discourse in policymaking in Washington and how it has changed, and the process of policymaking, including the use of data and research in policymaking, and the role of bureaucracy. The course includes student discussions of their experiences in their clinical placements. Students are required to come to class prepared to discuss relevant elements of their work. Guest speakers, including government lawyers, issue advocates, and think tank scholars, will visit the class periodically throughout the semester. Students will be expected to research the background of the guests and participate in class interviews to explore their work. The class may also include visits to government offices. A course paper relating to the student's work or to classroom subjects will be required in lieu of an examination.

This course fulfills the Professional Responsibility requirement.

To view Program details, students may access the Semester in Washington iSite, which contains detailed information about last year's syllabus, course requirements, events, funding, housing, placements, etc.

Subject Areas: Government Structure & Function , Legal Profession, Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility , Procedure & Practice .

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