Federal Legislation Clinic
Say the word “lawyer,” and most people picture a litigator doing battle in court. Maybe it’s Tom Cruise yelling at the top of his lungs at Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. Maybe it’s Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. Chances are that they do not think of the countless lawyers working in the halls of Congress, regulatory agencies, and state capitals across the country. “Legislative lawyers” — a term coined by Clinic founder Chai Feldblum — are little understood, although their work often affects the public more deeply than litigation.
This Clinic teaches students how to be effective legislative lawyers. As envisioned by Professor Feldblum, legislative lawyers:
- recognize and assess legal and political aspects of legislative, regulatory, and policy issues;
- perform the background research necessary to address legal and political issues;
- develop creative solutions to problems posed by legal and policy concerns;
- present such solutions in clear and persuasive oral and written forms; and
- engage in the negotiations necessary to ensure the adoption of legislative solutions.
Led by Professor Alvaro Bedoya, today’s Clinic focuses on policy problems at the intersection of civil rights and technology, and advises national privacy, civil rights and immigrant rights organizations. In the spring semester, the Clinic seminar is usually offered as a joint course with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Clinic students have:
- Drafted op-eds, talking points, and strategy documents for legislative campaigns;
- Drafted comments for regulatory agencies;
- Drafted model privacy legislation for state legislatures;
- Accompanied clients to meetings in Congress and before regulatory agencies; and
- Helped clients prepare for testimony before congressional committees.
The Clinic is a 10-credit, semester-long course offered in both fall and spring semesters. It is a significant time commitment. Students average 35 hours per week of work and study. All students are welcome to apply. We have a slight preference for 3Ls. Questions? Email Professor Bedoya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Semester, Fall or Spring
Number of Participants:
12 students per semester
All 2Ls and 3Ls
Average Time Commitment:
35 hours per week