J.D. Program

The American Legislative Practice

The American Legislative Practice has two fieldwork sections-- an in-house clinic and an internship option -- that provide an insider's perspective on the legislative system. 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.

Students choosing the in-house clinic option work on several projects that highlight different aspects of the legislative process, including the operation of legislative committees,
how to build coalitions and advocate for legislation, the legislative oversight function, and the collection of legislative history.

Students choosing to intern at the MA State House have the opportunity to:

  • 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
michael ayzen
michael cannella
Michael Ayzen ('11) edited Mass. human trafficking legislation to include the sale of body parts and organs. Michael Cannella (JD/MPH '14) drafted an amendment to Mass. health care law that allows students to retain prior health insurance.