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Student Guest Blog Entry: California Law Revision Commission Externship

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Nov 20, 2012

When King Hall's new expansion wing was completed, the California Law Revision Commission joined the law school community and moved its offices here, creating the opportunity for great collaborations with our faculty and students. Here is a guest blog entry from student Lynn Kirshbaum '13, who's doing some fascinating work (and gaining excellent practical lawyering skills) with the CLRC.
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This semester I have had the opportunity to work with the California Law Revision Commission as part of UC Davis’s externship program. The Law Revision Commission is a state commission that helps the Legislature and Governor modernize and improve California law by studying topics assigned by the Legislature and making specific, written recommendations for reform of the law.

My work with the Commission has focused on the Fish and Game Code and the Strategic Vision process. In 2012, the state legislature passed AB 2376, which required the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to convene a committee to develop and submit a “strategic vision” for the Fish and Game Commission (FGC) and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The Strategic Vision was to address improving and enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of the FGC and DFG in fulfilling their public trust responsibilities for protecting and managing the state’s fish and wildlife resources. It was suggested by the Strategic Vision process that the Law Revision Commission might assist with reviewing and cleaning up the Fish and Game Code, and authority to undertake such an action was granted by the legislature earlier this year.

At the start of my externship, the Commission had not yet looked at the Strategic Vision process or the Code. Thus, I was given the responsibility of researching the history of the Code and the Strategic Vision process in order to make a report to the Commission. I was able not only to attend the Commission’s October meeting  which took place at the law school, but was also able to present my findings to the Commission. I wrote a memorandum  summarizing and explaining what had been done by the Legislature and the participants in the Strategic Vision process, and also gave a presentation to the Commission during their meeting. This was an exciting opportunity as it allowed me to see first hand how the Commission conduct’s its business, and also afforded me the chance to speak in front of a state agency.

Though my presentation was the Commission’s first substantive encounter with the Strategic Vision process and the Fish and Game Code, it will not be its last. The Commission is just beginning its likely multi-year work in assisting with the review and cleaning up of the Code. My work during the rest of the semester focused on a functional analysis of the Code so that the Commission may determine how best to go about its revisions. This analysis will continue after my externship is over, and will provide the foundation for the revision of the Code over the coming years.

This externship was a great opportunity for me as it allowed me to continue to explore my interests in government and statutory law, and gave me practical experience in research, writing, and presenting. I feel fortunate that Davis has such a great program and that I was able to participate in it!

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Thanks for sharing, Lynn! And thanks to the CLRC and executive director Brian Hebert for your great contributions to the King Hall Community!