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Spring 2025 Course

Legal Profession: Government Lawyering

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

Government lawyers wield influence across every dimension of government. Indeed, government lawyering encompasses advising legislators, drafting or commenting on statutes and regulations, counseling agencies and executive branch officials, interpreting and implementing policies, issuing administrative opinions, defending government programs, suing on behalf of government interests, and much more.

“[I]n this world, with great power there must also come—great responsibility.” Kimble v. Marvel Ent., LLC, 576 U.S. 446, 465 (quoting S. Lee and S. Ditko, Amazing Fantasy No. 15: “Spider—Man,” p. 13 (1962)). In all of these contexts, government lawyers navigate professional codes of conduct, regulations, and ethical considerations while representing the interests of the citizenry, institutions of government, and their leadership. Through case studies, simulations, and conversations with former and present government lawyers, students will examine the decision-making processes of government lawyers across diverse practice settings, jurisdictions, and substantive areas of law. We will study the foundations of professional responsibility, conflicts of interests and confidentiality, reconciling zealous advocacy with the duty to uphold the public interest, addressing misconduct within agencies, privacy and FOIA, governmental privileges, and the role of government lawyers in maintaining the rule of law and protecting democratic values.

Note: This offering will meet on the following dates: 1/27, 1/28, 2/3, 2/4, 2/10, 2/11, 2/17, 2/18, 2/24, 2/25, 3/3 and 3/4.