Certificate(s): Public Interest and Social Justice Law
An introduction to the various approaches courts use to interpret statutes, and an exploration of the fundamentals of the legislative process. Particular emphasis on California and public interest advocacy, with some federal coverage. Topics include: the tools of statutory analysis, the creation of legislation and its role in a common law system, lobbying, the California constitution, legislative resources, career paths in legislation and public policy, and current issues.
Potentially interested in a career in public service, helping to make good public policy and a real difference in people’s lives? Want to help change the law where it really matters – civil rights, social justice, the environment, Internet privacy, expanding voting opportunities for disenfranchised voters? This course focuses on both the legislative process where such laws are made and the judicial process where they are interpreted. It will give you the tools you’ll need as a lawyer, whether in the public sector or in private practice, to help you skillfully advocate for and interpret statutes. If you’re not quite sure whether private law practice is definitely your career path, this course will also help you explore several other career paths for an attorney, while giving you a firm understanding of the lawmaking process and how courts interpret statutes. Stimulating and impressive guest speakers will be part of the course as well. Class meets 8/19 through 10/19. Schedule includes Mondays from 7:30 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. and a mandatory fun weekend workshop Friday, 10/18 from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10/19 from 8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday meeting dates include: 8/19, 8/26; 9/9, 9/16,9/23, 9/30; 10/7, 10/16 (10/16 is a Wednesday, which is an Administrative Monday). Come join us for a spirited exploration of the “other branch of government” that you will find useful in whatever career journey you ultimately choose to follow.