Gain an insider’s perspective on lawmaking.

Through a combination of classwork and fieldwork, you will learn the theoretical and practical aspects of law-making bodies: how statutory law is created through a variety of case examples; Constitutional limits to law-making; the ethical responsibilities for those involved in the process; and how law makers anticipate and shape the way the public and courts will interpret their work product. This one-semester program is offered to both 2Ls and 3Ls, with priority going to 3Ls. The clinic is offered in the fall and spring semesters.

Credits

Recent Student Projects

Recently, Legislative Policy & Drafting Clinic students have worked on bills to:

  • Reduce corporate tax haven abuse
  • Provide long-term care to elders and disabled citizens
  • Expunge the records of juvenile delinquents and criminal offenders
  • Provide improved workforce training for the unemployed
  • Ban the use of harmful chemicals in furniture, carpeting, and clothing
  • Reform the scope of professional practice
  • Reform economic development tax incentives

In addition, the Clinic conducts oversight projects to review whether existing statutes and government programs are functioning as intended. For example, Clinic students have assisted the Governor’s Commission on Corporate Taxation in reviewing the state’s corporate tax laws, and have reviewed the Gun Control Act of 1998 on behalf of the Joint Committee on Public Safety.

Finally, Clinic students work on the Legislative History Project. As an ongoing project of the clinic, students gather, organize, and put into context documentation related to recent substantive changes to the General Laws. This documentation includes testimony submitted to the relevant committees, speeches given on the floors of the Senate and House, and committee reports. These sources will then be posted on the web as a resource for anyone trying to understand or interpret Massachusetts statutes.

Faculty

The Policy & Drafting Clinic is taught by Clinical Associate Professor of Law Sean. J. Kealy.