McGeorge’s Online Water and Environmental Law Program Helps Fight for a Human Right to Water in California
In California, over one million people do not have access to safe, affordable, and reliable drinking water. Many small water systems and domestic wells are unable to meet safety standards under federal and state drinking water laws, and this problem disproportionately affects Latino, rural, and low-income communities. Two-thirds of the communities that suffer from drinking water insecurity or entire lack of drinking water are disadvantaged communities that have an annual median household income less than 80% of the statewide annual median. In many of these communities, the taps run dry, and where water runs, the water is toxic. Additionally, some California residents spend more than five times the affordable rate for water.
Long Intrigued by the Possibility of a Legal Career, Amanda Richie Decided to Launch a Career in Policy with a Master of Legal Studies Degree
While interning for a California State Senator, Amanda Richie, MSL ‘18, quickly realized that most of the Sacramento Capitol staff she worked with had earned advanced degrees.
Amanda, who earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, made a decision that she wanted to pursue a career in policy work. She learned about McGeorge’s Master of Science in Law in Government Law & Policy, attended an informational session, and determined the program was right for her.
Michelle Teran-Woolfork, MSL ’17, took a different career path than the one she initially had planned. She always wanted to go to law school and become an attorney. From there she planned on advocating for domestic violence survivors. Her current path still allows her to make the difference she intended on making, however, in a much different way and on behalf of many more people than she ever thought.
This year is the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and it comes with many reminders of the complex state of voting rights and election law in the U.S. The Covid-19 pandemic has complicated the logistics of voter registration and elections. A June report from the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation and Research shows a significant decline in new voter registration numbers compared to the months leading up to the last presidential election in 2016. This summer the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine devoted two issues to voting rights, including discussions of voter roll purges, racial gerrymandering, and cybersecurity issues and concerns.
When most people think of graduate-level law degrees, the Juris Doctor (JD) is the first that comes to mind. They may not consider, or even realize, the merits of Master of Science in Law (MSL) degrees and other master’s-level programs. As you chart your educational path, keep in mind that a JD isn’t the only option. While a JD is the right choice if you want to be a lawyer, a master’s degree in law can help you reach other career goals.
Just as you choose a route through town based on your destination, you can select a degree program based on where you want your career to go. While a JD is the most the only route to becoming a lawyer, other degree programs can take your career to diverse and interesting destinations.
Lawmaking doesn’t stop during a pandemic. In fact, the work of lawmakers and lobbyists becomes, in many ways, more pressing than ever. With governments and their citizens facing the new challenge of life in a pandemic, lawmakers must find ways to continue serving their constituents. Also, lobbyists must continue to represent their causes and ideals.
Chris Micheli, adjunct professor at McGeorge School of Law and a principal with the Sacramento government relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, is continuing to lobby and engage with the legal processes of the California State Legislature throughout the pandemic. His experience informs his teaching at the McGeorge Capital Center for Law and the online Master of Science in Law (MSL) in Government Law & Policy program.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged society in many ways, creating anxiety around health, finances, and the future. As we navigate these challenges we seek guidance and reassurance from our leaders. Also, leaders bring to their roles a variety of leadership strategies and styles. Some leaders are robust, and others are so quiet and unassuming that we may overlook their impact. Even a quick glance at history reveals strong leaders who have helped us navigate periods of significant change, such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Angela Merkel, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks, to mention a few.
Leaders appear on the national stage, at state levels, and within private and non-profit organizations. There are also quiet warrior “leaders” in health care and food service, who day in and day out muster the courage to march into battle against the coronavirus, sacrificing themselves for the sake of others.
To keep supporting students during the Covid19 crisis, most graduate schools have moved their programs online. That means you have more options than ever when it comes to choosing an online Government Law and Policy program from which to earn your Master of Science in Law.
At first glance, these programs might look similar, but not all online learning is created equal. Courses originally produced for in-person instruction don’t translate directly to the digital space. The MSL from McGeorge School of Law, on the other hand, was designed for online learning.
Learning in a time of crisis is a challenge for anyone. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic changes many aspects of life, you know that thoughtful policy and well-crafted laws can help get our nation and our world back to some semblance of normalcy. That’s why it is important to make the most of your online learning, so you can develop practical skills and real-world knowledge that can meet upcoming challenges. But first you need to meet the personal challenge of learning during a crisis.
Listen to the briefing on the Online Master of Science in Law (MSL). Prgrams in Government Law and Policy program at McGeorge School of Law. Project manager and podcaster Jon Wainwright interviews Chris Micheli. An Adjunct Professor, course designer, and partner in government relations firm Aprea & Micheli. They discuss instructors, courses, and the value that a McGeorge MSL can bring to your career.