LAW Local Initiatives
Civil Rights/Liberties: General
Business Law: Finance: Capital Markets, Financial Reporting, Corporate Governance
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[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] Civil Rights/Liberties: General
Why it is relevant for ...
[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Local Government : Public interest lawyers sometimes work as advocates on local community concerns and find that local governments are on the forefront of policy issues like economic development and related issues. This course addresses local government power and local problems that may give rise to experimentation and innovative problem-solving.
General course Description:
Local governments are often on the forefront of public policy and civil rights. Cities and towns, driven by local concerns and proximity to specific problems, are innovators and experimenters, developing policies that, when successful, may spread to other cities and eventually even affect state and national policy. This seminar focuses on local policy and rights initiatives and on the local problems that may give rise to the type of innovative problem solving that influences broader policy. Each student chooses a specific local initiative in a specific town or city to study. As part of the application for admission to the seminar, students submit a research proposal. The research proposal need not identify the local initiative the students intends to study, but it must state the reasons the student is interested in studying local initiatives and give a sense of the student's background and preparation to undertake a major research project involving both library and field research. Students spend the first few weeks of the course reading and discussing local government law, sociological case studies and political theory relevant to the question of local initiatives. Then, they spend time developing and refining research agendas as a group and in one on one student-professor sessions. Next students begin their research here at Stanford, using the library and other campus research resources to gather as much information as possible before beginning field research. During the on-campus research period, students submit regular progress updates and meet with the professor to refine their research agendas for the on-site portion of the research.
In the penultimate stage, students visit the city in which their local initiative took place or is taking place. On-site research is strictly limited to questions that cannot be answered through secondary sources available on campus or nearby. On-site research may include review of local archives, interviews with local officials, political activists, business leaders, lobbyists and others involved in or interested in the local initiative. Students can apply for limited grants to fund on-site research visits. On-site research must be scheduled so as not to conflict with other classes or academic obligations – students should schedule research trips to coincide with breaks, flyback week or long weekends. Obviously, students who choose cities within driving distance of Stanford will have more flexibility in scheduling multiple on-site visits than those who choose cities that require air travel – in general grants will be limited to one round-trip ticket for the remote locations.
Finally, after on-site research is complete, the class meets as a group to review and compile the research and begin to draft final reports. The objective of the course is for the final reports to be of publishable quality, either individually or as a collection.
Course Style: A Substantive course teaches the law, theory, and policy in a particular area of law
Course Frequency: Varied, check w/ registrar