This course addresses major issues facing state and local governments in a time of rapid change: (1) the distribution of power between federal, state and local governments; (2) the forms, structure, powers, financing and liability of local governments; (3) distribution of power between state legislatures, the judiciary, and the state executive branch; and (4) the relationship of state and local governments, public employees, and citizens. The course is designed so to introduce students to varied forms of writing and research associated with professional practice in this area, reflect on professional roles and responsibilities, and explore insights from other disciplines. It meets the law school's advanced writing requirement. The course will concentrate on legal developments across the country, but will also strategically focus on key aspects North Carolina law in order to ground students in the developing jurisprudence of a single jurisdiction.
The courses in legislative process and legislative advocacy are related but do not overlap. This course does not overlap with more narrowly focused offerings such as courses in land use law, ocean and coastal law, education law, housing law, or voting rights. Students from graduate programs in such fields as public administration and planning are also encouraged to enroll.