The Legislation Clinic has been in operation since January of 1991. Because legislation is a major tool for lawyers seeking to effect legal reform and establish rights for disadvantaged segments of society, the Legislation Clinic seeks to train students in the various skills necessary for effective legislative advocacy.
In the classroom component of the clinic, faculty and students examine the experiences of courts with statutory construction, the various steps in the process of enacting legislation, the building and researching of legislative histories, and drafting techniques. In addition, each student gains clinical legislative experience by being assigned to work with an office of the Council of the District of Columbia on one or more legislative projects.
The Legislation Clinic has the following goals:
General: To provide quality legal advocacy on legislative issues in the public interest consistent with the mission of the School of Law; to train the students to be knowledgeable and effective advocates in every major phase of legislation and law reform through legislative advocacy; to familiarize students with the movement of a bill through the legislative system and the role played by various bodies and parties, so that the students are able to participate effectively in legislative advocacy as practicing attorneys upon graduation from the School of Law.
Specific: To enhance written communication skills through production of legal memoranda and legislative analysis documents; to improve legal analysis skills by researching and analyzing issues raised regarding the interpretation and implications of existing, pending, and proposed legislation; to sharpen problem solving skills through, inter alia, developing legislative alternatives to circumvent practical and analytical problems; to refine understanding of professional ethics by encouraging students to question the role of attorneys in the legislative process; to sharpen communication skills through making oral presentations; to develop practice management skills through scheduling and timeliness of all work (including particularly the legislative projects), coordination with the professor and other students, and appropriate maintenance of files and records.
Contacting the Legislation Clinic
If you are seeking legal assistance, please contact
Jordana Arias, Clinic Paralegal, at (202) 274-5073.
UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
Building 52, Room 476
4200 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 274-7334
Fax: (202) 274-5569
Clinic Supervisor: Prof. Robert Burgdorf