LEGISLATIVE PROCESS SEMINAR
84th SESSION (or 23rd BIENNIAL OFFERING)
PROFESSOR JACK SAMPSON
SPRING SEMESTER 2015
This writing seminar relies on the fact that the 84th Texas Legislature meets about a dozen blocks from the Law School. The seminar first met in 1971, and has been offered every odd-numbered year ever since. It is limited to law students currently employed part-time or full-time or otherwise similarly occupied with either the Legislature, e.g., committee clerk, legislative aide, etc., or in a situation related to the legislative process, e.g., lobbyist, trade association, law firm, state agency, etc. Only a law student with a legislative connection will be able to complete the requirements of the seminar.
The first meeting is Friday, Jan. 16, 2015 at 11:50 A.M to 1:40 P.M., and continues to the end of the semester. This schedule best accommodates the schedules of students engaged in the legislative process. To the extent that history predicts the future, the legislature will primarily meet on a Mon.-Thur. schedule until at least some of, or most of April. Balancing law school and the legislature in May is always a challenge.
The writing task at hand is for the student to follow a pending legislative proposal or topic with significant legal implications and prepare a scholarly paper on the subject approved by the professor. Topics or specific legislative proposals likely to stir debate or advance the law are much preferred, to the exclusion of topics not meeting these criteria. Once a topic is agreed upon, the student investigates the subject, becomes familiar with present Texas law and current nationwide trends, and prepares two drafts of a seminar paper that provide a comprehensive analysis of the proposal. The first draft will be presented to the seminar during the semester, and the final draft will be due after classes end. It is likely the student will be directly involved in the same topic through employment. Although almost all papers will be so generated, the emphasis of the seminar (and of the paper) is legal analysis, not advocacy
PREREQUISITES. Approval of the instructor: without regard to 2L or 3L status, ten (10) students who will have a current legislative connection in Spring Semester, 2015, will be given absolute preference for enrolling in the seminar. Please apply during pre-registration; and the instructor will contact each applicant. Students who do not intend to work at the legislature but have taken Senator Brown's Legislative Process class, or students with a prior legislative connection who will not be actively engaged in the 84th session, may sign-up for a waiting list after pre-registration.
Contact Professor Sampson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or see him in Room 3.210, call ahead at 512-232-1267 (office) or 512-699-0247 (cell).