About the Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs
The Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs at the Western New England University School of Law was established in 2000 to offer students the opportunity to participate in activities relating to the legislative process. Recently, traditional law areas, such as contract, property, and tort, have evolved to include underpinnings of statutory law, and criminal law is completely statutory.
Through participation in the Institute, students engage in the practical application of law by assisting public officials in drafting legislation, exploring the codification and progressive development of laws, and examining recently enacted bills. This allows them to experience an area of law that has become indispensable to most practicing lawyers.
Students gain further exposure through the Institute's course offerings (including Legislation and Administrative law), independent studies, internships, and externships, which provide a thorough understanding in how to interpret and draft statutes as well as in the intricacies of the legislative process.
Additional events offered at the Institute, such as seminars, workshops, and legislative hearings, are open to alumni and the general public. The Institute is a great resource for alumni, state and local officials, and practicing attorneys who are interested in a variety of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs offered both in conjuction with the state bar associations and independently of them.
All events are free and open to the public.
FALL 2015 Events
Constitution/Citizenship Day – Naturalization Ceremony (reception to follow in Law Common)
Friday, September 18, 2015, 2:00 p.m. Moot Court Room/Law Common
U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson will preside.
State Legislature Joint Judiciary Committee Hearing
Monday, September 28, 2015, 1:00 p.m. Moot Court Room
The joint committee, composed of members of both the House and the Senate of the Massachusetts Legislature, will hold a hearing on several pending bills, with a focus on human trafficking and the protection of international human rights.
20th Annual Supreme Court Review Conference
Saturday, October 3, 2015, 10:30 a.m.
Featured Speakers: Professors Leora Harpaz, Jennifer Levi, Bruce Miller, and Art Wolf
Moderator: Art Wolf
Four professors will participate in the Supreme Court Review Conference. Professor Leora Harpaz will address the Supreme Court’s use of the “government speech” doctrine to permit the State of Texas to reject a specialty license plate that included a Confederate battle flag. Professor Jennifer Levi will discuss the Court’s recent decision declaring unconstitutional state bans on same-sex marriage. Professor Bruce Miller will examine the Court’s latest decision regarding the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (commonly referred to as “Obamacare”). Professor Art Wolf will then join Professor Miller in discussing an important decision regarding the enforcement of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
19th Annual Supreme Court Review Conference
Thursday, October 16, 2014, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. Law Common
Featured Speakers: Leora Harpaz, Jennifer Levi and Bruce Miller
Moderator: Art Wolf
The speakers focused on decisions involving freedom of religion, freedom of speech and assembly, affirmative action for racial minorities, and same gender marriage.
Friday, October 24, 2014, 2:30 p.m. Moot Court Room/Law Common
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Mastroianni presided.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Moot Court Room/Law Common
1st Hampden and Hampshire Senatorial District
Candidates: Debra Boronski and Eric Lesser
The event was streamed live via Ludlow Public Access TV. Following the debate, there was a reception in the Law Common with the candidates.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Legislative Hearing: Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies
Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 11:00 a.m., Moot Court Room
Each year, the Institute has the privilege of hosting public hearings of committees of the State Legislature. These hearings make it possible for residents of western Massachusetts to voice their opinions without having to travel to Boston. This year we are honored to present the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, with Senate Chair Gale Candaras and House Chair Joe Wagner of Chicopee.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day
September 16, 2013, 12:00 noon, Law School Common
Professor Jennifer Levi was the keynote speaker.
18th Annual Supreme Court Review Conference
October 4, 2013, 11:30 a.m., room A
The 2012-13 Supreme Court decisions included marriage equality, voting rights, voter registration, affirmative action, international human rights, privacy, patents, and employment discrimination. The presentation featured professors Leora Harpaz, Art Leaven, Bruce Miller, Giovanna Shay, and Art Wolf.