Legislative Clinic (LC)

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls

Prerequisite Course(s): None

Is this program year-long or semester-long? Year-long

How many credits? 6, upon completion of full year-long course

This in-house clinic The Legislative Clinic will focuses solely on issues of criminal justice. Hyper-criminalization and mass incarceration is now widely recognized to have had a disastrous effect on African-American families and to be responsible for a good deal of the current inequality. There are many facets to this problem, requiring legal minds trained to analyze policy, to understand our system of government and to put forth cogent arguments both oral and written.

The clinic is structured so that students represent an organizational client. Thus, instead of advancing a student’s personal concerns, the student will advance the interests of our client. Nevertheless, students will get more out of the clinic if they arrive with an interest in criminal justice and a desire for reforming the current systems.

For the 2016 to 2017 year, Professor Ross selected the Justice Roundtable as our client. The Justice Roundtable is a coalition of over 100 organizations working toward criminal justice reform. There are several working groups within the Justice Roundtable that share information and help advance change by various methods including advancing and opposing federal and state legislation. Students worked on various aspects of sentencing reform and policing reform, including calls for legislation and executive action.

This course aims to take advantage of our law school’s location for the District of Columbia is the seat of our federal legislative and executive branches. It is also home to many non-profit organizations that seek to change the law through legislative and lobbying efforts. There are many aspects to legislative lawyering from research to writing bills and policy papers to building support for proposals. Students will have an opportunity to work on specific legislative projects and develop oral communication, analysis, research and written skills, and soft skills too, such as collaboration and professionalism.