Curriculum

Government Advocacy Seminar

Credits: 2.00
Faculty: Nicholas Allard

This seminar will examine the role of attorney advocates in the public policy process. The focus of the seminar will be on the United States federal congressional legislative, oversight and investigative processes, as well as the interplay between the Congress and the federal agency regulatory process. The multiple arenas where policy issues are addressed on parallel tracks including, the courts, the press and new media, and at grass roots and treetop levels also will be considered. The increasingly international, multidimensional aspect of the policy process with respect to global trans-border issues and also the impact of state and local influences in a federal system will be noted and considered, but only insofar as they impact advocacy in Washington on the federal level.

The course will begin with a review of the mechanics of how the public policy process works and where it breaks down. Class discussion will be directed to a critical consideration of both myths and realities about how laws and rules are made and implemented, problems and possible solutions on issues ranging from corruption, campaign finance, undue influence, lack of transparency, conflict of interest, the so-called "revolving door," and other controversies. The course will also examine best practices for government advocacy by attorneys and offer a primer on compliance with the myriad rules governing Washington representation of clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sector.

Readings will be drawn from recent books by the leading commentators of the modern policy process, a range of articles covering the spectrum of views and positions about public policy, and compliance manuals. These readings will include, but not be limited to, Bertram J. Levine, The Art of Lobbying: Building Trust and Selling Policy; Lawrence Lessig, Republic Lost; and Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, The Broken Branch. From time to time such authors, former law makers, lobbyists and other experts will be invited to class to join discussions.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

A final paper of 20-25 pages will be required on a topic approved by Allard. By midterm each student will be expected to turn in an outline, and a bibliography for the paper. With permission of the instructor, a limited number of students will be permitted to write a paper that satisfies the UCWR. Final grades will be based on the paper grade and class participation which will include making in class-presentations during the term, and briefing the class on the final paper topic near the end of term.