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Legislative Clinic

Legislative Clinic

Founded in 1997, the Legislative Clinic is one of only a handful of law school clinical programs in the nation devoted exclusively to legislative lawyering and the formation of public policy. The Clinic combines federal legislative fieldwork in Congress with a classroom seminar involving academic readings, simulations, guest speakers, and legislative drafting exercises.

The Lawyer as Policy-Maker

The Clinic combines legislative placements in Congress, the Pennsylvania Legislature, Philadelphia City Council, executive agencies, and nonprofit organizations with a robust weekly seminar that examines legislative process, legislative drafting, and legislative advocacy. Students interact with clinic alumni in legislative positions and learn federal and state legislative drafting techniques in the classroom while engaging with cutting-edge policy issues in their chosen legislative placements.

Information for Penn Students: Explore Past Placements, Registration Details, and More

Read the Article: “Legislative Clinic opens doors for students passionate about public policy”

Sample Student Work

Medical Deportation

Legislative Clinic students worked with the Free Migration Project to prepare “Fatal Flights: Medical Deportation in the U.S.” The report explores how hospitals or other entities send critically injured or ill immigrant patients from one country to another without informed consent and often against the medical best interest of the patient.

Read the Report

Clinic Alum Spotlight

Aaron Jordan L’16

Aaron Jordan Aaron Jordan L’16 took his passion for legislation to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he first served as the Legislative Director for Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and is now Senior Counsel for the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Jordan got his start in Washington, D.C., when he enrolled in the Law School’s Legislative Clinic, taught by Practice Professor of Law Louis Rulli. His placement – an internship with Congressman Meeks – turned into a full-time job a few years after Jordan graduated.

“I wouldn’t have gotten that internship without the clinic, without Professor Rulli,” said Jordan. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Penn Law.”

On the Foreign Affairs Committee, Jordan said that “after four years of the Trump presidency, there is a lot of rebuilding, reassuring, and reengagement that needs to be done in the wake of some of the failed policies from the past, not just from the Trump Administration, but going back to the Iraq War.”

Jordan is turning his view to the future.

“We are trying to envision a better, more thoughtful foreign policy for the twenty-first century,” he said.

Jordan urged law students to remember that “you don’t need to take the prescribed course regimen that people sometimes push on you. Probably the best thing for you to do is to pursue your own interests — that will lead to a more fruitful, happy, and positive career.”

Clinic Faculty

Louis S. Rulli

Shuster Practice Professor of Law, Director of Civil Practice Clinic & Legislative Clinic

Contact Us

Legislative Clinic

Tel: 215.898.8427

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Fax: 215.573.6783