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Spring 2022 Seminar

Policy Advocacy Workshop

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

The Policy Advocacy Workshop is a hands-on seminar that will explore the methods, tools, and skills used to conduct legislative and regulatory advocacy. Many law students are interested in using their legal education as a pathway to engage in policymaking. This course will provide students with a range of active opportunities to learn about, discuss, and practice written and oral policy advocacy via simulations and assignments.

Students will learn about the process of issue spotting policy opportunities, developing policy advocacy campaigns, drafting legislation and regulations, and using written and oral advocacy to push for policy change. Students will learn how to effectuate policy reforms that could have real world application by drafting written materials and presenting oral advocacy to demonstrate an implementation strategy for a range of policy reform ideas.

After a few weeks of introductory reading and discussion, there will be short written assignments or preparation for in-class simulations due each week. The students not participating in the assignment for the week will workshop and provide input on the writing and presentations of their classmates, and discuss strategies and skills for improvement.

Each week will focus on a different type of skill or written document relevant to policy advocacy. These will include:

  • Issue spotting and policy development
  • Petitioning agencies and commenting on agency regulations
  • Legislative research and drafting
  • Writing policy briefs
  • Communications and media strategy
  • Grassroots advocacy
  • Creating fact sheets and sign-on letters
  • Testifying for policymakers

Classroom sessions will also include presentations from guest lecturers who have relevant policy experience, including advocacy organizations, think tanks, and policymakers. Rather than a final examination, grades will be determined on the basis of their written submissions, in-class role plays, class participation, and a final project.

Some seats are reserved for students in the spring Food Law and Policy Clinic or spring Health Law and Policy Clinic. Students who enroll in a clinical seat in this course and then drops their clinical enrollment will also lose their reserved seat in this course. Please note that there is a drop deadline of December 3, 2021 for students in this course enrolled in reserved clinical seats.