Legislative Drafting and Public Policy

Section 1, Fall 19

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 10/12
Credits: 3
Day Date Time Room
  • W
  • R
  • W
  • R
  • R
  • W
  • R
  • W
  • R
  • W
  • R
  • W
  • R
  • W
  • R
  • W
  • 08/28/2019
  • 08/29/2019
  • 09/04/2019
  • 09/05/2019
  • 10/17/2019
  • 10/23/2019
  • 10/24/2019
  • 10/30/2019
  • 10/31/2019
  • 11/06/2019
  • 11/07/2019
  • 11/13/2019
  • 11/14/2019
  • 11/20/2019
  • 11/21/2019
  • 12/04/2019
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • 1930-2200
  • WB162

Course Description

This course provides students with opportunities for the practical application of legislative drafting and statutory interpretation. After a brief review of separation of powers issues, the canons of statutory interpretation, and dealing with the press (both as a lawyer and as a legislator), we will engage in practical exercises related to the drafting, consideration, and adoption of legislation (in a legislative committee context, with students assuming the role of state “Senators”). Each student will draft a bill on a topic of interest to that student (either something based on, or amendments to, an existing statute from somewhere, which is what most students do, or something original), write a substantial research paper that supports that bill and will serve as a “report” or “commentary” on the bill, and draft, debate, and vote on amendments to proposals offered by other members of the class on a variety of topics. In addition, students also will have the opportunity to strengthen their oral advocacy skills by arguing in support of their bill and for and against proposals offered by others in the class. The instructors bring more than 50 years of experience interpreting, drafting, and advocating for and against legislation at the state and federal level. Among the over 300 bills and research papers submitted over the years, past topics have included: domestic violence, redistricting, sexual harassment, gun violence, recycling, human rights, hostile corporate takeovers, fetal abuse, dram shop legislation, non-tidal wetlands, campaign finance reform, conflicts of interest, criminal record checks, drug testing of public employees, surrogate parenting, workfare, hate-violence, and landlord-tenant law reform.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: A bill, a research paper that will serve as a “report” or “commentary” on the bill, a final draft of the bill (not a re-write of the research paper) incorporating amendments adopted by the class, and a class presentation on the bill. Papers will be due via EXPO by 9:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, October 11. NOTE: pursuant to Law School policy, the paper does not satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement unless a student (who has completed the Skills Requirement at the time of the seminar) timely submits a completed Writing Requirement Intent Form to the Student Records Office. Retroactive exceptions will not be granted. Students who have not yet satisfied the Skills Requirement may not petition for the paper to satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class. Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Notes: The course will meet from 7:30 p.m. to10:00 p.m. on August 28 and 29, and September 4 and 5. We then will take a five-week break for students to complete their research papers, which will be due via EXPO by 9:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, October 11. The seminar will then resume beginning on Thursday, October 17 for student presentations of their legislative proposals at 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on as many Wednesdays and Thursdays through the end of the term (except, of course, Thanksgiving week) as are necessary for there to be one class for each student presentation. Any enrolled student who is not able to attend the first class should contact one of the instructors prior to that first class.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
119819429
Law No.
LAW9074
Modified Type
Seminar
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Thursday, November 21, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 06, 11:59 PM
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