You will have many options to participate in the law-making process at the state, federal or international levels in BU Law's Legislative Programs:
- Provide legislative counsel to a client or WORK FOR A STATE SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE in American Legislative Practice, our most comprehensive program for learning about the law-making process that can be applied to practice in Congress, state legislature or agency.
- GAIN LEGAL EXPERIENCE AT A STATE OR FEDERAL AGENCY in the Government Lawyering Externship.
- SPEND A SEMESTER IN WASHINGTON, DC, working with the staff of a Congressional committee or subcommittee, in the legal office of an administrative agency, or with a federal board/commission in the Government Lawyering Semester-in-Practice Program.
- PARTICIPATE IN A UNITED NATIONS INITIATIVE to build the capacity of African parliaments to draft and enact more effective legislation in our Africa i-Parliaments Clinic
AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE PRACTICE
Through classroom and hands-on experience, the program focuses on teaching you how to apply legal theory to help clients advance a bill or project.
The seminar covers subjects that affect the legislative process including: constitutional interpretation by legislatures; theories of representation; legislative organization and rules; lobbying; legislative oversight powers; and legislature-executive agency relationships.
As part of the seminar, the class tours the Massachusetts State House and hears from guest speakers practicing law within and related to the legislative system.
Choose from TWO FIELDWORK OPTIONS that provide an insider's perspective on the legislative system:
OPTION 1: IN-HOUSE CLINIC
Assuming the role of legislative counsel to your client, who may be a legislator, state executive office, nonprofit organization, or advocacy group in Massachusetts, you will work to advance your client’s bill or project. Assignments may include:
- Researching public policies
- Drafting and revising legislation
- Formulating a strategy to guide bills through the legislative process
- Working to build a coalition to support or defeat a bill
- Advocating for or against a bill or issue with legislators
- Testifying at committee hearings
- Compiling and archiving legislative histories
- Developing strategies for building coalitions
OPTION 2: MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE INTERNSHIP
Intern at the Massachusetts State House for a state senator or representative. In this internships program, students may:
- Draft legislation
- Evaluate testimony
- Participate in planning meetings with legislators and staff
- Research questions of law and fact for proposed legislation
- Observe legislative strategy sessions and negotiations
- Attend floor debates and committee meetings
Massachusetts state legislators who have recently hosted BU Law student interns at the State House:
Sen. Stanley Rosenburg
Senate Majority Leader
Rep. Jay Kaufman
Revenue Committee Chair
Sen. Karen Spilka
Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez
Public Health Committee Chair
Sen. Mark Montigny
Sen. Cynthia Creem ('66)
Post Audit & Oversight Committee Chair
Sen. James Welch
Sen. Katherine Clark
Judiciary Committee Chair
GOVERNMENT LAWYERING PROGRAM
In the Governmental Lawyering externship, you will work 12-20 hours per week at a state or federal agency in Boston and attend a weekly seminar that covers topics such as the Impact of politics on the work of a government lawyer, ethical and moral considerations unique to government attorneys, determining who the “client” is for purposes of the attorney-client relationship and interaction with other government agencies.
SEMESTER-IN-PRACTICE (Washington, DC)
In the Government Lawyering Semester-in-Practice, you will spend a semester working full-time at a government office in Washington, DC while participating in faculty-led seminars. Examples include opportunities with the staff of a Congressional committee or subcommittee, in the legal office of an administrative agency, or with a federal board/commission.
|RECENT BOSTON PLACEMENTS||RECENT WASHINGTON, DC PLACEMENTS|
|Massachusetts Attorney General||U.S. Department of Justice||U.S. Department of Homeland Security||Environmental Protection Agency|
|Massachusetts Port Authority||U.S. Department of the Interior||U.S. Senate||U.S. Department of the Treasury|
AFRICA I-PARLIAMENTS CLINIC
Take an active part in the African Parliamentary Knowledge Network from across the continent. From the classroom, you will research and analyze social problems on behalf of your client—either a national or regional African parliament—and propose legislative language to address these problems. In this clinic, you may:
• Research recently passed African statutes and governmental reform for publication on the APKN Africa Parliamentary Information Exchange
• Consult with clients on substantive projects in African nations
• Assist with research reports
• Draft bill language for new legislation