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Spring 2023 Seminar

Policy Advocacy Workshop

Prerequisite: No prerequisites for JD students. LLM students must seek faculty permission.

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 with real world application by drafting written materials, presenting oral advocacy, and developing an advocacy campaign strategy for a range of policy reform ideas.

There will be short written assignments or preparation for in-class simulations due throughout the semester, as well as a longer written policy campaign strategy assignment due at the end of the semester. For the majority of these assignments, students will work in groups. Course faculty and other students will workshop these materials together in class and discuss strategies for improvement and best practices.

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
  • Agency advocacy and commenting on agency regulations
  • Legislative research and drafting
  • Writing policy briefs
  • Communications and media strategy
  • Grassroots advocacy
  • Lobbying
  • Testifying for policymakers

Classroom sessions will also include presentations from guest speakers who have relevant policy experience with advocacy organizations, think tanks, and policymaking. Rather than a final examination, grades will be determined on the basis of written submissions, assignments, class participation, and the final policy advocacy strategy 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 2, 2022 for students in this course enrolled in reserved clinical seats.