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LAW 319

Legislation

Law School

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[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Transactional ] Education Law: General

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Transactional ] as a Foundational Course : An essential part of the foundation for education lawyers is an understanding of the respective functions of lawmakers and rule-making agencies in both federal and state government. Administrative agencies play a role in multiple “school law” areas, especially special education and employment. Understanding the administrative process can be as important as understanding traditional forms of advocacy in the courtroom since education lawyers typically represent their clients before administrative agencies and other rule-making bodies. Administrative Law and Legislation together provide a framework for engaging the legislative and executive branches of government, a necessary complement to an understanding of the judicial branch in an education law practice.

General course Description:

Lawyers work in a legal system largely defined by statutes, and constantly shaped by the application of legislative power. This course is about statutes and the legislative institutions that create them. It discusses some of the key laws governing access to legislative power; the procedures that culminate in the production of statutes in the legislature; and the process through which agencies, courts, and legislatures interpret statutes. The first part of the course focuses on the acquisition of legislative power. Key topics include bribery laws, lobbying and indirect influence on legislative activity, and campaign finance regulations. The second part of the course concerns the use of legislative power. Topics include framework laws for organizing the legislature, the federal budget process, the special rules governing oversight of intelligence and national security functions; and discussion of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 as a case study of how politicians, lawyers, and interest groups shape legislation. This part also includes a brief comparative discussion of how legislatures in other countries and international institutions make collective decisions. The third part of the course briefly covers the modern statutory interpretation process in courts, agencies, and legislatures. The class discusses (among other things) how courts apply certain canons of statutory interpretation, how legislative staff shape legal interpretations, and how agency implementation of statutes is shaped by legislative intervention.

Course Style: A Substantive/Statutory course deals with law, theory, and policy in the context of a particular code or statutory scheme.

Course Frequency: Offered once a year

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