857 Government Lawyering in Crisis

This course will examine the role of lawyers in the government, especially in time of crisis, the skills developed, and the usefulness of those skills for a lawyer who later enters the private sector. We will focus on the work of the White House Counsel, the US Department of Justice, other Executive Branch counsel, Congressional lawyers, and the role of private sector lawyers. We will study the interaction of law, policy, and politics in a government job, including topics such as attorney-client privilege, executive privilege, ethics, the role of the media, and “the people’s right to know.” Students will engage in case studies based upon a hypothetical government crisis, and learn through class discussion and practical exercises how lawyers inform government decision-making, and what skill sets are required in dealing with a crisis. We will also discuss the transferability of those lawyering skills to counseling clients in the private sector.

Degree Requirements
Course Type
  • Lecture
Learning Outcomes
  • Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.