Legislative Drafting for Public Policy

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE, THU 9:05 - 10:20 am JON 5.206

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


In the modern regulatory state, the primary instrument of ordered social change is legislation. But legislation must first be written before it can perform this role. This course explores the interpretation and application of statutes, and their effect on the systemic implementation of societal change, through the problem-solving art of legislative drafting. We will consider fundamental concepts necessary for successful legislative drafting including, among others, the functions of statutes; implementation concerns and solutions; and executive and judicial encroachments on legislative powers and responses. We will examine public policy problems through in-class exercises related to the drafting, consideration, and adoption of legislation. Using the context of a state legislative committee's consideration of legislation (with students assuming the role of legislators), students will debate, amend, and vote on legislation on topics of interest to the class. Each student will prepare a proposed law or constitutional amendment and an accompanying legislative memorandum of law; students will also draft amendments, other proposed language, and riders as legislation is debated in class. Students also will have the opportunity to strengthen their oral advocacy skills through the in-class legislative debate. This course is ideal for those looking to practice law in a legislative, administrative, or regulatory environment. 

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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