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Washington Semester Program - Justice & Law: Public Law


Justice and Law - Public Law a second section of Justice and Law which is specifically designed for students who may wish to attend law school. The class is taught by Daniel Freeman, an experienced attorney who has spent many years working on Capitol Hill and the White House. The course is taught using the Socratic Method used in most law schools.

The first part of the course is planned to give students a comprehensive understanding of the myriad institutions and organizations which contribute to making, executing and interpreting the laws, rules and regulations by which we govern ourselves. An understanding of this complex system will be gained through an analysis of the Congress, the Courts, and the Executive branch including the multitude of administrative agencies, as well as outside interest groups.

The second part of the course to which a majority of the time will be dedicated, will concentrate on examining some of the major issues of Public Law facing this country with a special emphasis on constitutional law. The specific subjects covered will be based to a large degree upon your interests and what is happening in the government while you are here.

Among the topics covered in recent semesters are:

  • Free speech
  • Church/State issues
  • Freedom of the press
  • Gun control
  • Physician assisted suicide
  • Search and Seizure
  • Genetic discrimination
  • Immigration
  • The Affordable Care Act
  • “Right to die”
  • Intellectual property—copyrights, patents and trademarks
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Same sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act

Quick Links

Past Speakers Include... 

  • Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
  • Norm Mineta, Former Congressman and Cabinet Secretary (Commerce, and Transportation)
  • Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
  • Congressman John Robert Lewis (D-GA)
  • Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
  • Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,(R-FL) Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Kenneth Feinberg, Mediator/ Arbitrator for the 9/11 Fund, The BP Oil Spill Fund
  • William Corr, Deputy Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Sarah Klein, Attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest on Food Safety

Past Site Visits

  • The U.S. Supreme Court
  • The U.S. House of Representatives Chamber floor
  • The U.S. Senate Chamber floor
  • The U.S. Department of Justice
  • The U.S. Courthouse for the District of Columbia
  • Congressional Hearings—Senate and House
  • Boeing Company Washington Headquarters
  • The Heritage Foundation
  • Center for American Progress
  • The Brookings Institution