Visiting Director Cori Alonso-Yoder responds to the Supreme Court's Niz-Chavez v. Garland decision in which the Court interpreted a federal immigration statute in favor of a person in deportation proceedings.
Federal Legislation Clinic
Just steps from the U.S. Capitol, the Federal Legislation Clinic has been training law students for decades to be effective legislative lawyers operating at the intersection of law and politics. Students who have taken the Clinic have gone on to careers in Congress, the White House, federal agencies, advocacy groups, law and lobbying firms, and a host of other organizations seeking to influence the outcome of federal legislation.
Students participating in the Clinic get first-hand experience representing nonprofit clients with legislative issues pending on Capitol Hill. Students also participate in classroom seminars and workshops and have the opportunity to visit some of the inner sanctums of our democracy.
The term “legislative lawyer” was coined by Clinic founder Chai Feldblum. As envisioned by Professor Feldblum, a legislative lawyer:
- recognizes and assesses the legal and political aspects of a legislative challenge;
- performs the background research necessary to understand and address the issue;
- develops and proposes creative solutions to the issue;
- drafts numerous written materials for various target audiences; and
- presents information orally to explain and persuade effectively on behalf of clients.
As part of the Clinic, students:
- draft proposed legislative text, amendments, and legislative history documents;
- help clients prepare for testimony before congressional committees;
- draft opening statements, strategy documents, fact sheets, op-eds, talking points, and other key documents for legislative campaigns; and
- participate directly with clients in meetings with Members of Congress and congressional staff, agency officials, and coalition partners.
The Clinic is a 10-credit semester-long course offered in both the fall and spring semesters. It is a significant time commitment, and students average 35 hours of clinic work per week. All 2L and 3L students are welcome to apply. A course on congressional or administrative procedure or statutory interpretation, such as Lawmaking, Legislation, Statutory Interpretation, Government Processes, The Regulatory State, or Administrative Law, is strongly recommended.
The Clinic Director is Professor Dave Rapallo, and the Teaching Fellows are Courtney French and Jessica Killin.
If you are an attorney interested in becoming a Teaching Fellow with the Clinic as part of the Law Center’s two-year LL.M. program, please click here for more information.
Questions? Please email Professor Rapallo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conjunction with American University, the Federal Legislation Clinic released a report in September on the working conditions for migrant workers in Maryland's crab industry, including their vulnerability to COVID contagion as frontline workers.
Article by Director Cori Alonso-Yoder discussing the recently-proposed Justice in Policing Act of 2020.