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Thinking Like a Policy Analyst: Introduction to Policy Analysis

This seminar is designed primarily for students working on Policy Lab projects, but will be open to other students as well subject to a total enrollment of 15 students. It will be offered both the Autumn and Winter quarters during 2013-14, with any individual student eligible to enroll only in one quarter. You already know how to think like a lawyer, but if you are interested in policymaking, policy advocacy or policy research¿whether in the public, nonprofit, or corporate sector¿ you need to know how to think like a policy analyst as well. This seminar, designed primarily for students beginning or continuing in Policy Lab practicums, has three purposes. First, it introduces students to the ways in which policy analysts approach public policy problems and controversies, focusing on perspectives that distinguish policy analysis from traditional legal analysis Second, it introduces students to the tools of policy analysis, including approaches to collecting and analyzing information Third, it provides hand-on lessons on communicating with policy makers orally and in writing. There is no text for the course. Readings for the course will include examples of policy analyses conducted to inform public policymaking. Students engaged in policy practicums will use their practicum experience as a basis for assessing the value of various policy analytic perspectives and research approaches. Students not engaged in policy practicums will pick a policy problem they are interested in and develop a plan for conducting a policy analysis relevant to this problem. Elements used in grading (Autumn): Attendance, class participation, three short reflection papers.Elements used in grading (Winter): Course paper and class participation. Consent Application: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructors. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline.


Instructors for this course (Past and Present)

Paul Brest
Deborah R. Hensler
Luciana Herman