Law & Policy Study Tour: DC

Law & Policy Study Tour: DC explores how federal law is made, influenced, and enforced in our country, including the role that politics plays in the legislative and executive branches. Students will examine the roles of Congress, agency counsel, the president, executive officers, federal courts, and lobbyists. In particular, students will learn the intricacies of the legislative process and the oversight functions of Congress that accompany its legislative powers. The course also addresses the role of agencies in how federal law is shaped and enforced, and how lobbyists work to influence federal law and the policy issues that arise from that influence.

Course Format

This course has a substantial in-person learning component, which will include course work over three-and-a-half days, Thursday–Sunday. Preceding the in-person learning component, there will be two live online lectures over the first three weeks of the course.

During the in-person portion of the course, students will:

  • Take tours of the Capitol and Supreme Court.
  • Join in on a conversation with the clerk of the Supreme Court.
  • Attend course work sessions with classmates.
  • Attend a reception with Pepperdine alumni.

This course is an elective and does not replace the required on-campus residencies.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the U.S. legislative process and methods of congressional oversight.
  • Explain the role of lawyers in various federal agencies, in the White House, on the Hill, and in the judiciary.
  • Assess the participation of lobbyists in making, defending, challenging, and upholding the law.
  • Discuss conflicts between and within the three branches as they make, enforce, and interpret federal law and policy.