I'm looking forward to seeing you next week in the Law and Public Policy course. As those of you who have spoken to me about it know, the goal of the course is practical, although the content is often "intellectual" in nature. Everything lawyers do, from the smallest cases to the largest legislative and political efforts and a great deal that lies in between, involves arguments about public policy, and often involves working with policy-makers and lawmakers, economists, experts in various fields, and so on. The goal of the course is to provide a working vocabulary for lawyers that will help them interact with these various players, to understand public policy and the choices it presents better, and to frame and make arguments of their own. In my years in practice and my professional and civic dealings with others, I have found that vocabulary immensely useful and rewarding, both practically and intellectually. It involves a mix of public policy, regulatory theory, and economics. It's a new course, and I'll be feeling my way forward--with your input!--but I think it will be simultaneously enriching, fun, and useful. I look forward to it immensely and very much want you to enjoy it and profit from it.
The main book for the course is Thomas A. Lambert's How to Regulate: A Course for Policymakers. It should be available in the bookstore (and is mercifully cheaper than the books for most courses). The rest of the readings will be handouts and PDFs from various sources. For the first week, please read the following:
1) In Lambert, the Preface (ix-xii) and the first two chapters (pages 1-15).
2) The attached article by Barak Orbach, "What is Regulation?", 30 Yale Journal on Regulation Online 1 (2013).
3) The attached article by William H. Clune, "Law and Public Policy: Map of An Area," 2 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 1 (1993). Read the whole ting, but my focus will be on the Introduction and Parts I and III-IV.
4) The attached Alabama "price-gouging" statute. We will probably not discuss it until the second class. (A teaching note: This kind of mix of readings will be pretty standard. Most weeks, in addition to the reading discussing a concept, such as rent-seeking or public choice or externalities, we will use a case, law, or case study to illustrate, apply, and work through the concepts and turn more abstract ideas into more practical realities.)
Again, I look forward to working with you. Please let me know if you have any preliminary questions or problems with any documents or sources.