In this course, students will study legal tools to strengthen and defend democratic government in the United States, and particularly, the role that lawyers can play in their communities in this regard. We will explore institutions, like the rule of law and free press that are intended to promote freedom, through readings that engage core themes. Active participation in each week’s class discussion is a central requirement of the seminar, students must fully engage with the reading and prepare in advance to discuss the nuances of scholarly and legal materials we will review, along with current opinion pieces and even some fiction. Each student will be assigned to lead one in-class discussion.
Grading will be on the following basis, Class Participation 40%, Proposal for an Advocacy Project 30% (this will involve identifying the contours of an anti-democracy policy or action on a federal, state or local issue and designing a proposal for a project to address it, students will be assigned a class to make their proposal and lead a discussion of it, refining their final proposal following discussion), Written Advocacy 30% (students will prepare a short article, op-ed style piece or other written advocacy designed to build awareness on a substantive legal issue in a way that is consistent with the obligation of lawyers to help educate their communities).