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.
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.
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 Cori Alonso-Yoder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Director Cori Alonso-Yoder discussing the recently-proposed Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
NY Times highlights the clinic's joint seminar with MIT, where law students are paired with engineers and challenged to write privacy and surveillance legislation.