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This two-credit seminar will bring together LL.M in Law and Government students and selected J.D. students to examine how to be an effective “Washington Lawyer.” The course will focus on the core institutions of Washington lawyering, including Congress, the White House, Department of Justice, federal agencies, and the courts. It will cover such topics as congressional oversight and lawmaking, nominations, setting law and legal policy for the Executive Branch, the Administrative Procedure Act and other major statutes, and the roles of the media, public interest groups, lobbyists, ethics requirements, and money. The Washington lawyer has a multi-faceted practice at the cutting edge of the legislative process and regulatory law. Washington lawyers serve their clients through the traditional activities of the law, including counseling, negotiation and representation of clients before regulatory bodies and courts, but they operate in a particularly complex milieu that requires mastery of law, policy, and politics. This seminar will introduce the student to the institutions and roles that distinguish Washington lawyering through readings, class discussion, guest speakers, and student role-playing exercises. This introduction to legal practice in this challenging environment should prove useful for students who will interact as lawyers with government in any form and on any level. A central tenet of the seminar is that a successful Washington lawyer must be a proactive problem solver. It is not sufficient simply to advise clients whether there is legal authority for the client’s proposed course of action. Rather, a Washington lawyer must work with the client to identify possible courses of action—taking into account legal risks and evaluating the feasibility of success—that will allow the client to achieve an identified goal. Success depends on creativity and energy, grounded in a thorough understanding of the forces that drive government decisionmaking.
Textbooks and Other Materials
The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check here to determine if books are currently available for purchase at the AU Campus Store.
Readings will all be posted on MyWCL.
First Class Readings
• Thomas Susman, A Perspective on the Washington Lawyer Today, 44 ADMIN. L. REV. 1 (Winter 1992) • George Packer, The Empty Chamber, NEW YORKER (Aug. 9, 2010) • Norman J. Ornstein & Thomas Mann, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, pp. 1-30 (2012)
The syllabus is available in the following format(s):