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. Students are asked to keep open the hours of 11 am to 4 pm for client meetings, Hill meetings, and other activities which tend to occur during regular business hours. 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. Previous legislative work experience is not required. Two key traits we look for in student applications are interest and excitement.

The Clinic Director is Professor Dave Rapallo, and the Teaching Fellows are Courtney French and Anthony Marcum.

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 david.rapallo@georgetown.edu.