Dec 01, 2021  
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LAW 595 - Citizen Lawyers Seminar - Lessons in Leadership

Fall (1-3) Alan Rudlin

In addition to offering professional advice as counselors at law, lawyers in America have often been citizen leaders, playing key societal roles in politics, business, and their community. How does traditional legal thinking and analysis work for lawyers in citizen leadership roles, often beyond a purely legal context? This class will address that question, and seek to broaden your approach to problem-solving. We will focus as a case study on how lawyer-leaders performed both in advising policy-makers and sometimes playing those policy roles during the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam war. We’ll assess the process of their decision-making, and see what lessons can be learned for all citizen lawyers. Henry Kissinger has commented that U.S. foreign policy has suffered in part because key players have often been lawyers, who lack an appropriate historical perspective in making decisions. We’ll consider if that is a valid criticism and examine other ways that decisions might have been better made. We will also address the topic of Executive War Powers authority, which remains a live issue for our country today. This class is intended to sharpen your skills in conceptual problem-solving, and how to think beyond narrow legal frameworks when appropriate. The goal is to develop that most vital of all lawyer skills: good judgement. We will also assess how ethical factors contribute to better leadership decision skills. Class Approach: There will be a variety of assigned reading, selected in part from the books noted below. We will consider four groups of decision makers: White House advisors, the State Department, Congress, and the Pentagon, and evaluate how each “client group” contributed to the decisions being made. Prominent guest speakers will be invited to address us as well. Student Eligibility: The seminar is primarily intended for second and third year law students. The course will be graded on Pass-Fail basis, based on class discussion and a short essay to be submitted after the course conclusion. Primary Assigned Reading (Selections): Dereliction of Duty - by Gen. H.R. McMaster Lessons in Disaster - by Gordon M. Goldstein