Capital Lawyering students must complete a minimum of 14 units approved by the Capital
Lawyering Concentration Director, with the remaining units after required classroom
and experiential coursework being from approved electives. Interested students should
submit an application early in law school and meet with the Concentration Director
to develop a course plan to best prepare for their specific Capital Lawyering career
- Statutes and Regulations — three (3) units
Required for all McGeorge students.
- Capital Lawyering and Policy Making — two (2) units
This course introduces students to the lawyer's role in developing, modifying, implementing,
advocating, and influencing public policy, including legislation, regulations, executive
orders, court orders, and other policy edicts. While primary focus is devoted to the
lawyer's role in the context of California state government, the course touches upon
the full array of policymaking venues and processes, including Congress, the California
Legislature, state (CA) or federal agencies, California's initiative process, the
California or federal courts, and agencies of local government.
One Experiential Course, choose from:
- Externship (Capital Lawyering)1 — three (3) to 14 units
- Legislative and Public Policy Clinic2 — six (6) units (year-long)
1 Evening students with current employment that meet the requirements of the externship
may receive a waiver of this requirement.
2 Capital Lawyering and Policy Making and Lawmaking in California are highly recommended
prior to the Clinic, or may be taken concurrently with the approval of the Clinic
- Administrative Law — three (3) units
This course is strongly recommended for all Capital Lawyering students. Capital Lawyering
students interested in federal, state or local law must understand how agencies function,
and often will need this knowledge to function effectively in an externship.
- Legislation and Statutory Interpretation — three (3) units (offered intermittently)
This course follows on Statutes and Regulations, offering a more in-depth treatment
of the core lawyering skill of statutory interpretation.
- Information Policy — two (2) units
This course examines an individual’s ability to control his or her personal information.
Privacy law consists of constitutional law, statutory law, torts, and contracts. This
course begins with foundations of privacy law in the United States, tracks the evolution
of privacy law into 21st Century statutes, and considers the challenges of regulating
and enforcing privacy laws.
- Negotiation and Settlements Seminar — two (2) or three (3) units
Resolving disputes using non-adversarial methods, which preserves ongoing working
relationships, is a core skill for Capital Lawyers.
- Persuasive Public Speaking — two (2) units
This course introduces students to the many aspects of persuasive public speaking
including content, word choice, and delivery. Students develop public speaking confidence
by practicing their skills and receiving constructive feedback. Persuasive speaking
in a number of different contexts is a core skill for Capital Lawyers.
Electives By Level of Government Practice
California Law — In and Around the Capitol
- Lawmaking in California — two (2) units (offered in the Fall)
This course covers the fundamental components of the legislative process, policy
and ethics including legislative procedure, bill drafting and analysis, history and
intent, advocacy, relationships with the executive branch, and powers and limits of
the legislative branch. Students learn about statutory and regulatory lawmaking and
observe the lawmaking process in action. Students draft legislation (bills and amendments)
and analyses. The making of statutory law has an increasingly critical role in our
legal system. This course prepares students who want to continue their studies in
the legislative arena and participate in the Legislation & Public Policy Clinic.
Additional State Law Electives
- California Initiative Seminar — two (2) units (offered every other year, alternating with Election law)
This course is offered only when there is a California election with initiatives
on the ballot.
- Election Law — two (2) units (offered every other year, alternating with California Initiative
This course offers a mix of federal and state election law, and is strongly recommended
for students who work at the California Fair Political Practices Commission, or law
firms or nonprofits dealing with elections and compliance with ethics regulations.
- Pacific Legislative Law Review (Greensheets) — two (2) units (offered in the Fall)
Students produce analyses and reviews of pending California legislation, which are
published in The University of the Pacific Law Review’s annual "Greensheets" volume.
- Environmental Practice — three (3) units
This case-study course helps students to develop fundamental skills necessary for
administrative practice and judicial review in natural resources cases. The examples
are primarily drawn from problems typically faced by water resources attorneys, but
with applications to a broader range of natural resources, environmental, and land-use
- Land Use Planning — two (2) units (offered in the Fall)
Land use planning is a core function of local government. This course is highly recommended
for students who want to work in city, county or special district entities.
- Local Agency Practice — two (2) units
California has thousands of local agencies and special districts providing essential
services. This course explores local agency decision making in a variety of substantive
areas. In this active learning course, the substantive mandates and policies are integrated
into practical simulations and realistic legal assignments that emphasize advocacy,
negotiation, and litigation. The litigation component examines administrative and
traditional writs in addition to validation and reverse validation actions - unique
and specialized lawsuits brought to challenge government actions. The course will
focus on the substantive areas of the Brown Act, Public Records Act, California Environmental
Quality Act, and Political Reform Act. (Practicum).
- Statutes and Regulations, Administrative Law, Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
and Election Law focus primarily on federal law, and prepare students for Capital
Lawyering field placements and careers in federal agencies or at law firms in practices
that involve advocating to agencies and counseling clients about compliance with statutes
and regulations, and offering advice about statutory and regulatory changes.
- Students can create a strong resume by combining Capital Lawyering courses with subject-specific
courses (e.g., business, environment, employment, health), which will prepare them
to practice in specialty areas.
- Students may apply to participate in McGeorge's D.C. Fellowship, which places students
in summer internships in government agencies in the nation's capital.
Erin O'Neal Muilenburg
Director, Capital Lawyering Concentration