Capital Lawyering students must complete a minimum of 14 units approved by the Certificate
of Concentration Director, with at least six (6) units being from elective courses.
Interested students should submit an application early in law school, and meet with
the Certificate of Concentration Director to develop a course plan to best prepare
for their specific Capital Lawyering career objectives.
- Statutes and Regulations — three (3) units
Required for all McGeorge students.
- Introduction to Capital Lawyering — 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:
1 Evening students with day jobs that meet the requirements of the externship may receive
a waiver of this requirement.
2 Introduction to Capital Lawyering, Lawmaking in California, and California Lobbying
and Politics is highly recommended prior to, or concurrent with, 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
This course follows on Statutes and Regulations, offering a more in-depth treatment
of the core lawyering skill of statutory interpretation.
- Negotiation and Settlements Seminar — two (2) or three (3) units
Resolving disputes in non-adversary ways, 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
Strongly Recommended Two-Course Sequence
- Lawmaking in California — two (2) units (offered in the Fall)
This course offers an "inside-the-house" view of California lawmaking.
- California Lobbying & Politics — two (2) units (offered in the Spring)
This course follows Lawmaking in California, and offers the "outside" perspective
of California lawmaking.
Additional State Law Electives
- California Initiative Seminar — two (2) units
This course is offered only when there is a California election with initiatives on
- Election Law — two (2) units
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 reviews of new California, which are published in the law review's
annual "Greensheets" volume.
- State Government — three (3) units (offered in the Fall)
Public Policy Course 284
- 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
This course and Representing Local Agencies offer students basic introduction to the
substance and skills of local government practice. Taking one of these courses is
highly recommended for students interested in local government practice, and students
may take both
- Local Government — three (3) units (offered in the Fall)
Public Policy Course 285
- 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
Director, Capital Center for Law & Policy; Capital Lawyering Certificate of Concentration