Law & Government Institute (Harrisburg)
The Law & Government Institute is a dynamic resource for students, government officials, legislators, judges, attorneys, and the public that focuses on legislation, the intersection of law and policy, and administrative agencies. For students, the Institute provides knowledge and insights about how government works, the skills lawyers use when representing clients before the government, and the skills lawyers use when representing the government itself.

Located in the state capital of Pennsylvania, the Institute engages in the development of legislation, including law reform. The Institute offers students the opportunity to explore the legislative process through its Legislation Certificate. It also hosts a wide variety of public programs that explore and debate issues at the top of the legislative agenda.

Once policy becomes law, executive branch administrative agencies are tasked with enforcing the law. These agencies fill in the gaps in the statutory law by creating detailed rules for enforcement. Any time an agency acts- either in creating these more detailed rules or in enforcing the rules- the agency must act according to established principles, including the rule of law and separation of powers. Agencies regulate virtually every aspect of life, including the environment, transportation, education, utilities, health, banking, public welfare, and taxation. The Institute educates students and the public about the law that governs administrative agencies and works to improve the regulatory process. Students may earn certificates in Administrative Law/Constitutional Law and in Environmental Law that emphasize the law that governs agencies, including the relationship between the legislature and agencies.

Certificates of Concentrated Study
Through a “hands on” approach, the Law & Government Institute allows Widener Law students to enhance their legal studies by completing the requirements for one of three certificates. Each of the certificates requires students to gain experience in the field through an externship, to complete a concentration in government law courses, and to fulfill the law school’s writing requirement on a government law topic. A Law & Government Certificate signals that a student has completed in depth study of and has practical experience in government law.

Administrative Law/Constitutional Law Certificate

Environmental Law Certificate

Legislation Certificate

Students interested in completing the requirements for a Law & Government Certificate should fill out an Expression of Interest form.

Graduating students who wish to certify meeting the requirements for a Law & Government Certificate should fill out the Application for a Law & Government Certificate.

For more information, please contact:
Jill E. Family, Professor of Law and Director, Law & Government Institute