DICKINSON LAW PROFESSOR ADVISES U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BUDGET COMMITTEE
January 28, 2020 — In fall 2019, Penn State Dickinson Law Assistant Professor of Law Matthew B. Lawrence introduced first-year Dickinson Law students to the legislative process through the Legal Argument and Factual Persuasion course. This spring, Lawrence will be supporting that process. While continuing to teach administrative law at Dickinson Law this semester, Lawrence will also be working part time with the U.S. Congress as a Special Legal Advisor to the Budget Committee (Majority) of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Lawrence is an expert in health law and administrative law, focusing on how legal structures shape the flow of dollars with an eye to how that flow, in turn, influences outcomes in the real world. His recent scholarship exploring congressional failures to fund entitlements—which Lawrence calls “disappropriations”—is being published this month in the Columbia Law Review and is available online. His work with the Budget Committee will include related questions at the intersection of budgeting and the constitutional separation of powers.
“As a Special Legal Advisor, I am assisting the Budget Committee in its important efforts to support Congress’ constitutional responsibility to control and monitor how tax dollars are spent,” said Lawrence. “It is important to me as a scholar to share what I learn not just through published scholarship but also through teaching and service. This temporary role advising the Budget Committee Majority is a unique opportunity to do that.”
Dickinson Law Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law Danielle M. Conway saw Lawrence’s legislative work as another marvelous example of the Law School’s faculty “practicing greatness.”
“One of the special things about Dickinson Law is how many of our accomplished faculty have the opportunity to share their expertise outside the academy—from Professor of Law Dermot Groome’s work with the International Criminal Court at The Hague to Professor of Law Katherine Pearson’s work with the Pennsylvania Courts,” said Conway. “I am excited that Professor Lawrence has this opportunity, and I am confident that the experience will enrich his teaching and scholarship.”
In addition to his role as assistant professor of law at Dickinson Law, Lawrence also serves as an assistant professor at Penn State College of Medicine in the Department of Surgery (by courtesy), and an affiliated faculty and academic fellow alumnus of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.
Prior to joining the resident faculty at Dickinson Law, Lawrence practiced in government for several years, including stints in the Department of Justice’s Federal Programs Branch and in the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of General Counsel. In 2016, he received an individual special commendation award for his defense of Affordable Care Act programs while serving as trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice.