LAW 5877: Public Policy Seminar - 2254

Public Policy Seminar
Class Term:
Spring Term 2024-2025
Catalog Number:
3 (2 Contact, 1 Field)
Graduation Requirements:
Upper-Level Writing
"W" Writing
Seminar - 3rd Year Priority
Full Year Course:
Standard Courses

Additional Information

Past case studies have included: cyber security, national security, immigration, Ebola and other epidemics, climate change, Affordable Care Act of 2010, and international rule of law. This seminar will be taught primarily from the University of Pittsburgh’s Washington Center in Washington, DC, which is connected via video-link to the law school in Pittsburgh. Students may participate either from Pittsburgh via videoconference or from Washington while participating in the Semester in DC Program. This seminar is also open to GSPIA students.

Grading Details

Grades will be based 50% upon a final seminar paper, 25% upon weekly reaction papers, and 25% upon participation in class discussion.


This seminar will explore the processes of federal law-making and public policy development through examination of a series of selected topics concerning lobbying, the legislative process, judicial challenges to new laws, and administrative rule-making and enforcement. A primary purpose of the seminar is to enrich students’ understanding of law-making and policy development by focusing on a series of case studies concerning particular laws and policies and introducing information about the relevant political dynamics, bureaucratic systems, and other real-world factors. Thus, in addition to studying written materials, students will talk with Washington-based attorneys and others who are experts in the relevant fields. The selected topics will vary from year to year.

This course is held on a specific day, at a specific time, on Zoom or using some other remote technology. The class never meets in person.

Public Policy Seminar