Jan 18, 2022  
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LAW 561 - Influence of Legal Profession on Legislative and Judicial Process Seminar

Fall Credits: (2-3) Thomas Norment

George Wythe was the ‘Father’ of the William & Mary Law School. He was an extraordinary lawyer who served in all three branches of Virginia’s government. Wythe’s curriculum insisted his students actively participate in mock legislative sessions which dealt with the substantive and procedural aspects of important legislation pending before the Virginia General Assembly. Wythe understood the inevitable and critical interplay between the legal profession, politics and public policy. History suggests the legal profession has disproportionately impacted legislative outcomes. Our focus this semester will be to examine how this principle remains a truism in the 21st century. In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly passed the highly controversial ‘Omnibus Transportation Bill’ that was dramatically impacted by the legal profession at every conceivable stage; and ultimately declared unconstitutional by the Virginia Supreme Court. This course will use this bill as a framework to more broadly examine the legal profession’s influence on both the substantive and procedural history of legislation. Active student participation will be expected as we analyze, dissect and advocate as appellants and appellees the constitutional merits of this legislation, offering individually, student drafted amendments to cure any constitutional infirmities.