The recently launched Government and Legislative Law Clinic (GLLC) provides students with the unique opportunity to observe and participate in the many facets of governmental law, policy and the legislative process. Working under the direct supervision of clinical faculty and clients in legislative, administrative and judicial settings, students will gain first-hand experience working with government clients on legal issues with policy significance. Clients for the Spring 2011 semester included the Wisconsin Legislative Research Bureau, Legislative Council, Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
GLLC seeks to provide students with hands-on experience with government and legislative clients. The clinic focuses on the development of “policy lawyering” skills, since our client assignments do not involve litigation but rather the development of new (or dissolution of existing) laws, regulations and
policies. The clinic emphasizes several core themes:
- the work of a government and legislative policy lawyer typically involves policy choices,which means that there is often not a “right” answer but many possible answers based on the criteria most important to your client (e.g., values, efficiency, cost, evidence);
- the work of a government and legislative policy lawyer requires attention to the interests and needs of multiple constituencies (e.g.,voters, agency leadership; the governor’s office, etc); and
- the work of a government and legislative lawyer involves particular constraints that may not exist in a typical lawyer-client relationship due to the government context.
The GLLC requires a minimum commitment of 14-16 hours each week, divided between 10-12 hours per week with a client (sometimes on site), a weekly class seminar and one-on-one session with clinic
faculty. Students accepted into the clinical program typically earn 4 credits. Participation is limited to second and third-year law students. Please contact Clinical Associate Professor Erin McBride for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org.