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MAPL 662 The Legal System and Public Policy

MAPL 662 is an elective course in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) Program. This class prepares advocates to understand the extent to which courts - or more precisely the issues confronting our legal system -- drive policy and social change. Students will develop practical skills to seek legal remedies for their constituencies, and strategies for knowing when to choose the courts instead of the legislative process.
4 Graduate credits

Effective January 12, 2015 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Overview of the organization of the court system in the United States
  • Overview of basic concepts in Civil Procedures, Federal Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Torts
  • Case studies examining the relationship between the courts and policy change. Topics might include: Voter redistricting; Judicial elections; Civil suits and tort-reform; the tobacco settlement; Civil Rights and the Courts; Religion and the courts
  • Advocacy Skills and Strategies: a. Assessing costs and benefits and the utility of utilizing the courts for litigation and regulation b. Analyzing and applying existing laws, ordinances and statutes to an issue at hand c. Legal research: finding applicable case law or statute d. Strategies for navigating and utilizing the court system on behalf of diverse constituencies