I was set on starting my legal career at McGeorge School of Law because of the Water and Environmental Law Concentration and the Capital Lawyering Concentration. In my undergraduate studies, I took a class that was similar to the Legislative and Public Policy Clinic at McGeorge. After this class, I knew that I wanted to continue learning about, and gain hands-on experience in, the California legislative process.
When I applied to law school, I was unsure whether I wanted to work around the Legislature in public policy or pursue a legal career in litigation. I knew I would be remiss for not taking the opportunity to give the policymaking space the good ole’ “college try.”
The Legislative and Public Policy Clinic gave me the opportunity to explore my fixed interests in water policy. My team, Emma Syftestad, and Erika Cabrera combined our interests of environmental policy and social justice to craft an environmental justice bill. We teamed up with an amazing sponsor, the Community Water Center, to craft Assembly Bill 805 (2023): Drinking water consolidation: sewer service, to further address the issues concerning rural Californians that lack access to safe, drinking water. Currently, nearly one million Californians do not have access to safe drinking water, a problem that not many people, or classmates, are aware of or understand.
I think the Legislative and Public Policy Clinic is an unparalleled, foot-in-the-door experience for law students who are eager to or unsure whether to work in the Capitol space. The Clinic allowed me to further my oral and written advocacy skills. One of the benefits of the Clinic is the personal experience. Students have the opportunity to draft and advocate for legislation on policy issues they are passionate about or have personal experiences with and can address through a real legislative solution.
McGeorge is a unique legal institution because the school embraces the experiential learning experience and tries to nurture this in its students through courses like this Clinic. The Legislative and Public Policy Clinic is one of the few niche experiences I am grateful that I had the opportunity to cap off my legal degree.
The Capital Lawyering Concentration at McGeorge School of Law ensures that law students understand the legislative process and how each of the three branches of government interconnect. After completing my degree and working in litigation, I have found this knowledge of the legislative process to be essential in all forms of legal practice.
For applicants interested in applying to McGeorge School of Law, or first-year students who have an interest in public policy, I encourage you to explore participating in this Clinic.