The Capital Center for Law & Policy at McGeorge School of Law offers a unique blend of courses and experiential opportunities to prepare you for a career focused on shaping public policy in government. Our location in California's capital city, just a few short miles from the State Capitol and government buildings, provides an unparalleled opportunity to impact critical government and public policy issues while completing your JD.
The Capital Lawyering Concentration is a 14-unit course of study and experiential learning students can pursue while they earn their JD. Capital Lawyering Concentration students also have opportunities to attend exclusive Capital Center events and networking opportunities.
McGeorge’s Capital Center for Law & Policy encourages students to pursue experiences that emulate pro bono legal experiences during their legal career and recognizes students who give their time to others through:
- Pro bono legal services (separate from volunteer internships or exceeding required hours for clinics)
- Unpaid community service
Examples of activities that count towards the Commendation include:
- Service events sponsored or promoted by the law school, such as the Citizenship Fair, Reading Partners, or the Justice Bus Spring Break Service Trip
- Student group events to provide service or raise funds to support service, such as the Women’s Caucus Wine-Tasting and Auction and the Public Legal Services Society (PLSS) fundraising efforts
- Other non-legal community service like neighborhood clean-up events, service nights, volunteering at libraries or animal shelters, and volunteer mentoring.
As an ongoing Capital Commendation student, you will be invited to a yearly recognition reception. At graduation, you will receive a certificate and medal for your achievement, recognition at the annual senior luncheon, and special notation in the commencement program. You may earn the Capital Commendation at the following levels, based on your total hours devoted to service during law school:
- Bronze (50 hours)
- Silver (100 hours)
- Gold (150 hours)
Please contact the Capital Center Director, Erin O'Neal Muilenburg.
Capital Center scholarships are available to highly qualified JD degree applicants who want to complete the Capital Lawyering Concentration. Interested applicants should contact the McGeorge Admissions Office by email or by calling 916.739.7105.
Adjunct Professor, Legislative and Public Policy Clinic
Deputy Chief of State, California State Senator Ben Hueso
Adjunct Professor, Legislative and Public Policy Clinic
Retired Partner, Nielson Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni
Adjunct Professor, Capital Lawyering and Policymaking
Former Chancellor, California Community Colleges
All applications must be completed through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Please note that McGeorge does not accept hardcopy applications. The application should be complete when submitted.
preLaw Magazine, Summer 2021, Government Law
preLaw Magazine, Winter 2020, Grade for Public Policy
To register for the Capital Center Legislative Leaders Speaker Series event, please fill out the form at the link below. The event is free and open to the public.
McGeorge School of Law is located in Sacramento, the capital of California. McGeorge’s location enables the school to offer outstanding opportunities for students, including high-profile externships and connections. McGeorge alumni work at every level of government and legislative advocacy in and around California’s capital.
McGeorge School of Law ranked #3 in Government Law
McGeorge School of Law’s government law program was ranked No. 3 in the nation by preLaw Magazine in 2021. The Capital Center for Law & Policy — which is located three miles away from the Capitol — provides students with an unparalleled opportunity to impact critical government and public policy issues.
Alumna excels in California’s Capitol
Mariana Corona Sabeniano was one of the first students to pursue a Master of Science in Law, Government Law & Policy when McGeorge School of Law launched the program eight years ago. Sabeniano earned her degree in 2015 and rose to Senator Monique Limón's Chief of Staff position.
Helping others build foundations with foundational skills
Tia Boatman Patterson, ’94, serves the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the Associate Director for Housing, Treasury, and Commerce. Patterson leads the team in the OMB that develops and oversees budgets for many federal agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration.
McGeorge alumna uses her legal training to make bills become law
Michelle Teran-Woolfork, MSL’17, worked on a bill to make California the first state in the nation to give farmworkers overtime pay. “The most fulfilling part of my career is knowing that Californians want to have a voice in their government, and working in the Legislature for an Assemblymember, I help give them that,” she said.
Clinic students draft bill to make English as a Second Language courses more financially accessible to recent immigrants
Knarik Melkonyan, '22, spoke from lived experience when testifying in front of the California Assembly Committee on Higher Education about AB 1232. The bill, which she and her clinic partner Mo Roeckl-Navazio helped draft, would make English as a Second Language courses more affordable for recent immigrants to the United States.
Students help first-in-nation healthcare reform become law
Through their work in University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law’s Legislative and Public Policy Clinic, McGeorge alumni Eric Hoffman, ’21, and Alexander Pequinot, ’21, did something many lawyers will never have the opportunity to experience. The two saw the bill they worked on, California Senate Bill (SB 311), become law when it was signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in Sept. 2021.