In today’s post I continue my series looking at the courses offered by the Capital Center for Law & Policy at McGeorge School of Law to train aspiring Capital Lawyers who plan to work in and around California state government. Today’s post is one of two on McGeorge’s Lawmaking in California class.
McGeorge’s Lawmaking in California course is only one of a handful of law school courses that is dedicated specifically to forms of lawmaking in the state of California. It covers the fundamental components of the legislative process as well as discussions of the rulemaking process and avenues of direct democracy.
The topics covered in the course include legislative procedure, bill drafting and analysis, legislative history and intent, advocacy, relationships with the Executive Branch, and the powers and limits of the Legislative Branch of California state government.
The course is taught in downtown Sacramento at the State Capitol, rather than on the law school campus, as this provides students with the feel of the practice of Capital Lawyering. Instead of having a textbook, the course uses a close to six hundred page reader that’s full of substantive information that be readily used as a reference guide for anyone working in or around the legislative and/or regulatory processes. The reader is compiled by the course’s two professors, Diane Boyer-Vine and me.
In addition to a midterm and final – each worth 20% of a student’s grade – the course features practical writing assignments – a bill and amendment drafting project and a bill analysis drafting project. The bill drafting project not only requires that students draft a bill, but also draft a substantive amendment to address one or more opposition concerns that could be raised with the original bill and drafting an urgency clause for the bill as well as a justification for that urgency clause.
That’s the 30,000 foot overview of McGeorge’s Lawmaking in California course. Next week we’ll discuss more of the particulars of the class.