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Symposium on Lobbying & the Law


February 23, 2008 9:45am - 7:00pm


The Framers recognized that a successful democracy must be responsive to the demands of its citizenry. The First Amendment specifically protects the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. But what happens when Americans pay others to petition the government for them?

This all-day symposium complements the Stanford Law & Policy Review's Spring 2008 issue entitled "Lobbying & the Law." The symposium will not only include several of the issue's authors, but also a number of practitioners, academics, and policymakers. The event is divided into several panels, who will discuss recent developments in the field of lobbying, but also the role that this profession plays in the functioning of American democracy.


9:45-10:30 Breakfast

10:30-12:00 Panel 1: Lobbying and the law. This panel will address questions like: how is lobbying like lawyering? How do lobbyists do their work, and what aspects of their work are ethically problematic? How has the lobbying industry changed over time, and in particular how has it been affected by past efforts at reform?

12:15-1:45 Lunch and keynote address. (Speaker TBA)

1:35-2:15 Dessert and coffee, plus breakout sessions with the day's panelists.

2:15-3:45 Panel 2: "Big Pharma" and Public Policy. This panel will address the specific role of lobbying in the pharmaceutical industry. What are/have been the agendas of different parts of the pharmaceutical industry, how have they affected public policy, and have these changes been good or bad from the point of view of the public good?

4:00-5:30 Panel 3: Lobbying and democracy. This panel will address the role that lobbying ought to play in a democracy, and what (if any) reforms of the lobbying profession should be enacted.

5:30-7:00 Reception

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