Legislative & Public Policy Clinic Goals and Structure
This Clinic provides an opportunity for students to represent client sponsors to develop legislative or public policy change. Students engage with experienced professionals in the Legislature and can develop a network of Capitol area contacts.
The Legislative & Public Policy Clinic provides a practical skills experience in researching, drafting, and pursuing adoption of California state legislative and public policy changes. Students will interact with client sponsors, elected and appointed officials in state government and their staff, lobbyists, and public affairs professionals. Students often work to develop coalitions and interact with the media in support of a legislative proposal.
Students participate in a weekly instructional seminar. A total of 150 hours per semester is required. The Clinic is a year-long, 3-credit-per-semester clinic, open only to graduating students.
Prerequisites for Enrollment
A written application is required. Previous or concurrent enrollment in Lawmaking in California (822) is required. Students participating in the Capital Lawyering Concentration will receive preferred enrollment.
Professor Cathy Christian is a retired partner at Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross, and Leoni, with extensive experience in election, campaign, and government law. As an attorney and legislative advocate, she represented governmental and commercial interests before the Legislature and state agencies. Previously, she handled litigation and legislative issues in the California Attorney General's office, was an appellate lawyer for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, and a staff attorney for a legal services program. You can contact Professor Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Aaron Brieno served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for California State Senator Ben Hueso and recently completed a graduate program at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. He is also the founder of Inspire California, a social impact nonprofit that provides college access resources to historically underserved communities within California's San Joaquin Valley. Aaron also has extensive political campaign experience as a senior advisor for multiple regional California races. You can contact Professor Brieno at email@example.com.
Legislative and Public Policy Clinic Bills
- AB 9 (Wood): Includes vegetation management in an omnibus fire safety and prevention bill. Client: California Farm Bureau Federation. Approved by the Governor Sept. 23, 2021.
- SB 790 (Stern): Authorizes mitigation credits for establishment of wildlife corridors to prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions. Client: California Environmental & Energy Consulting. Approved by the Governor Oct. 8, 2021.
- AB 610 (Kalra): Modifies the circumstances under which a school principal is required to notify law enforcement of student behavior. (Students joined various juvenile justice reform organizations.) Bill died in committee.
2019-2020 All bills suspended in the Legislature due to COVID shutdown
- AB 2402: (Committee on Insurance): requires an accurate description of actual cash value for losses be included in the residential property disclosure form. Client: Personal Insurance Federation.
- AB 2958: (Maienschein); establishes a Behavioral Health and Justice Center to provide resources for counties for mental health programs. Client: McGeorge Community Legal Services, Homeless Advocacy Project
- AB 648: (Nazarian): prohibits health care service plans and insurers from sharing personal information or data collected through a wellness program or taking any adverse action based on such information, including declining to enroll. (Students joined Consumer Reports and others working on a two-year bill.)
- SB 338 (Hueso): Provides legislative direction to law enforcement agencies to update operational manuals and training to better serve disabled or elderly Californians who are subject to various abuses. (Students Stephanie Chavez and Spencer Saks) (client: The Arc of California and Community Legal Services, Elder & Health Law Clinic).
- SB 350 (Galgiani): Ensures continuity of care of inmates by requiring their electronic health records to follow them to a new facility when there is electronic communication. (Students: Melerie Michael, Elizabeth Vice)
- SB 791 (Glazer): Requires institutions of higher education to disclose more information on the status of student loan repayments to prospective students. (Students: Elizabeth Vice, Ryan Mahoney, Jordan Catalano)
- AB 90 (Weber): Reforms the CalGang shared gang database program. (Students: Louie Ponce, Nicholas Scheuer)
- AB 413 (Eggman): Allows survivors of domestic violence to record their abuse and submit those recordings as evidence in a court proceeding without fear of being sued by the abusive party for invasion of privacy. (Students: Lilliana Udang, Jessica Gosney, Charles Wiseman)
- AB 1554 (Irwin): Prohibits the sale of "powdered alcohol" in California (aka "palcohol"). Brandon Bjerke, '16, Sean Creadick, '16, and Emily Reynolds, '16 worked on AB 1554 as students. It was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 28, 2016 and chaptered by the Secretary of State.
- AB 1740 (Alejo): Creates a paid fellowship for law school graduates to work in the State Capitol. Narek Avetisyan, '16, and Tanner Puryear, '16, worked on AB 1740. This bill did not advance after it was referred to the Assembly Rules Committee.
- AB 2505 (Quirk): Prohibits euthanasia of animals using carbon dioxide gas. McGeorge students Navnit Bhandal, '17, and Tessa Nevarez, '17 worked on AB 2505, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on July 25, 2016 and chaptered by the Secretary of State. The student team also worked on AB 1825 (Gordon), which was signed into law on July 25 and ensures that dogs seized as part of a fighting ring are not automatically put to death, but rather evaluated for suitability for adoption.
- SB 1064 (Hancock): Will allow counties to create collaborative, comprehensive programs to identify, treat, and rehabilitate commercially sexually exploited children. Riha Pathak, '16, and Kayla Thayer, '16, worked on this bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 26, 2016 and chaptered by the Secretary of State.
- SB 1339 (Monning): Ensures that Medi-Cal eligible patients continue to receive health care services during the transfer from one county to another. Brittney Barsotti, '16, and Lauren Ngo, '16, and student Anam Hasan, '17, worked on SB 1339. It was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 29, 2016 and chaptered by the Secretary of State.
- AB 100 (Alejo) — Law Fellowships (died)
- AB 291 (Medina) — CEQA Notices / Multi-County Water Transfers (was active in the Senate, died in committee)
- AB 791 (Cooley) — Online Advanced Health Care Directives (died)
- AB 1200 (Gordon) — Procurement Lobbying (passed by Legislature, vetoed by Governor Brown)
- AB 2643 (Wieckowski) — Revenge Porn (signed into law)
- AB 2452 (Pan) — Advanced Healthcare Directives (died)
- AB 2623 (Pan) — Peace Officer Training — Elder Law (signed into law)
- AB 2632 (Maienschein) — State Dependent Care Facilities (signed into law)
- SB 1058 (Leno) — Discredited Expert Witness Testimony (signed into law)
Contact Melissa Brown, Director, Legal Clinics