Center for Government Law and Public Policy Studies

Law School

The mission of Dickinson Law's Center for Government Law and Public Policy Studies is to perform four core functions:

  • to provide high-quality and rigorous experiential learning opportunities for Dickinson Law students in government agencies and nonprofit public policy organizations at the state, national, and international levels;
  • to sponsor programs, speakers, and academic symposia that will enrich the academic environment at Dickinson Law for faculty, staff, and students;
  • to promote and encourage Dickinson Law faculty research and scholarship on legislation, government regulation, and public policy issues; and
  • to develop and facilitate community outreach and service activities for government officials and lawyers who practice in government and in public policymaking organizations.
Overview

The Center capitalizes on the Law School’s location near Pennsylvania's state capital in Harrisburg and the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. to provide students with a wide range of experiential learning opportunities in government agencies and nonprofit public policy organizations at the state, local, national, and international levels.

The Semester-in-Washington, D.C. Program allows students to spend a semester of their final year of law school in residence in Washington, D.C. working four days a week at a government agency or nonprofit organization. Students in the Washington, D.C. Program also take a seminar on Federal Regulatory and Legislative Practice taught in Washington, D.C. by former House of Representatives General Counsel and Dickinson Law Distinguished Fellow in Law and Government Stanley M. Brand. Students participating in the Semester-in-Washington, D.C. Program can choose from a wide range of internship opportunities relating to federal and international law practice and careers.

The Semester-in-Harrisburg Program allows students to spend a semester of their final year of law school in Harrisburg working three days a week at a state government agency or nonprofit organization focusing on state law issues while taking law school courses related to their placement and career goals. Students obtain in-depth exposure to state government practice while remaining resident at Dickinson Law’s historic Carlisle campus.

The Government Center offers a Certificate in Government Affairs to students who complete an approved course of studies in government law and policy. Students have the opportunity to tailor their certificate program to their career goals and interests, and can focus on state, national, or international law studies.

In addition to offering certificate and experiential learning programs for Dickinson Law students, the Center sponsors programs, speakers, and academic symposia that enrich the academic environment at Dickinson Law for students, faculty, and staff. Recent guest speakers have included former Watergate special prosecutor and 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste, nationally prominent health law policy advocate Wendell Potter, and nationally recognized ethics expert Professor Kathleen M. Clark at programs on ethics in government, health care law policy, and whistleblower law.

The Center also promotes and encourages Dickinson Law faculty research and scholarship on legislation, government regulation, and public policy issues, and develops and facilitates community outreach and service activities for government officials and lawyers who practice in government and in public policy-making organizations in state capital region.

Government Law Faculty

Professor Lance Cole is the Director of the Center. Cole has extensive practice and public service experience in Washington, D.C, and is an expert on business law, corporate securities law, white collar crime, and the law of congressional investigations and oversight. He has served on the staff of the 9/11 Commission and the United States Senate Special Committee on Whitewater. He is the co-author with Professor Stanley M. Brand of a textbook on the law of Congressional Investigations and Oversight and has published numerous law review articles on government law and policy topics in law journals at Columbia, Yale, Texas, Villanova, and other law schools.

Professor Camille Marion is the Director of Experiential Learning. Marion coordinates experiential learning programs at Dickinson Law and teaches Problem Solving I. Professor Marion has extensive practice experience in state and federal administrative and regulatory law, and draws upon her practice experience to assist Dickinson Law students capitalize on the opportunities provided by the Semester-in-Practice programs.

Professor Stanley M. Brand is Distinguished Fellow in Law and Government and the On-site Director of the Semester-in-Washington, D.C. Program. Brand is a nationally recognized expert on election law, political corruption, and legislative ethics and procedures. He is the co-author, with Professor Lance Cole, of a textbook on the law of Congressional Investigations and Oversight, and has published numerous law review articles and opinion pieces on government law and policy matters. Brand served as General Counsel to the United States House of Representatives, and since 1992, has served as the Vice President of Minor League Baseball, the governing body for 205 professional minor league baseball clubs in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He appears frequently as an expert legal commentator on national news programs such as Hardball with Chris Matthews, NBC Morning and Evening News, CNN, and NPR’s All Things Considered and The Diane Rehm Show. Brand draws upon his extensive public service and private practice experience to assist students in Dickinson Law’s Semester-in-Washington, D.C. Program embark upon successful careers in or related to the federal government.