The Legislative Lawyering Clinic is designed to teach students how to become effective legislative lawyers. Legislative lawyers practice law in a political setting and ease the conflicts between law, politics, and policy by translating concepts between parties and negotiating the final, mutually-acceptable text. Legislative lawyers combine substantive legal knowledge with political understanding to produce good law and good policy while advancing their clients' goals. The Clinic's purpose is to train legislative lawyers, not lobbyists.
Clinic students undertake projects for nonprofit organizations, state agencies, and political subdivisions that advance the public interest. The Clinic does not take individual legislators and committees as clients.
Clinic projects allow students to learn and refine legislative lawyering skills, including legislative drafting, problem-solving, interviewing, negotiation, and oral advocacy skills as they handle their client's legislative problems. Students will also explore ethical issues unique to legislative lawyering while working on behalf of a client. Students will develop a document toolbox for clients that includes the full range of documents used by legislators, their staffs, and advocates to analyze and explain proposed legislation or regulations. The Legislative Lawyering Clinic offers students meaningful participation with adequate structure in the legislative process from various vantage points through client meetings, advocacy coalition meetings, and meetings with public officials and their staffs.
The classroom component also covers the substantive law of legislating such as the law of appropriations, delegation of powers to agencies and private entities, and other fundamental concepts. Also covered are the legislative and administrative processes, mock hearings and negotiations, and the viewpoints of real-world participants.
Students who have taken the Legislation or Texas Legislature: Process and Procedure course are encouraged to apply but those courses are not prerequisites for enrollment in the Clinic.
Permission of the instructor is required to register. An application is required. Enrollment is limited.
To apply, all interested students must submit a completed application
with supporting document by the end of the early registration period. Completed applications must be submitted to Cindy Blanco, Clinic Administrator, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. A copy of the application must also be provided to the instructor by e-mail to email@example.com
. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 2, 2010. Applications submitted after early registration will be reviewed on a rolling basis and additional students may be admitted if seats are available.