The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times
“They get the opportunity to see their law degree as something that would help them be involved with policymaking, not simply litigation, not simply advocacy,” says professor and founder of the program Howard Shelanski of U.C. Berkeley School of Law. Both an attorney and economist, Shelanski practiced law with Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd & Evans and served as a top economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under then President Bill Clinton.
The hands-on program, which started Jan. 12 and runs through early May, shows students how lawyers in Washington forge statutes, policies and regulations. That first-hand experience is indispensable, Shelanski says. “It’s hard to do in any other way.”
Along with U.C. Berkeley School of Law dean Chris Edley Jr., Shelanski observed that not enough Berkeley graduates were making their way to Washington. They also figured such a program would attract more “Washington-oriented” students interested in influencing public policy to attend Berkeley Law.