Term: Spring 2023 - Law (01/02/2023 - 05/12/2023)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
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Ethics and Government Service
The objective of this course is to provide a rigorous introduction to the legal framework surrounding government ethics, standards of conduct in government service, and federal conflicts of interest statutes . The course will utilize the federal ethics rules as applied to individuals servicing Executive Branch positions as our model. The course will allow students to explore the legal complexities related to state and federal ethics regarding employee conduct and the associated challenges for lawyers who represent clients in ethics matters.
The course will include two written components. The first is a team exercise which will follow the timeline for Presidentially Appointed, Senate Confirmed nominees from nomination to confirmation. The second written component will be an individual assignment where students are responsible for providing ethics guidance and advice to a new government employee.
Students who successfully complete this course will gain general knowledge of the legal framework regarding Government Ethics and specific knowledge of selected topics including internal and external gifts, outside activities, use of government resources and misuse of position, conflicts of interest both personal and financial, political activities of government employees, consideration for leaving government services, and other ethics systems guiding congressional, judiciary, and state government. Students will improve their ability to assess fact patterns involving issue spotting, legal analysis, and application of their knowledge in the preparation of a legal memo for a government employee. Finally, students will increase proficiency in practical legal skills by producing a final written product intended as formal legal advice from a government ethics attorney to a new government employee.