Law and Policy Lab

Real clients. Real challenges. Real solutions.

Many of our graduates will be leaders in policy arenas, and all of our graduates will need to solve problems and work on teams. What better place than Stanford, with its focus on interdisciplinary study and solving real-world problems, to practice these important skills?

M. Elizabeth Magill, Dean, Stanford Law School

About the Law and Policy Lab

SLS Policy Lab icon red

Engagement in public policy is a core mission of teaching and research at Stanford Law School.  First-year courses explore the policies underlying basic legal doctrines, and advanced courses focus on policy in areas ranging from intellectual property to criminal justice.  The Mills Legal Clinic gives students direct experience counseling and advocating for clients on both law and policy issues, and many of the law school’s centers, programs, and journals engage students in policy research and scholarship. A new venture in experiential learning deepens this commitment to policy: The Law and Policy – Stanford’s unique policy incubator – is finding solutions to some of our most pressing issues.

Under the guidance of seasoned faculty advisers, Law and Policy Lab students counsel real-world clients in an array of areas, including education, copyrights and patent reform, public enterprises in developing countries, and wildlife trafficking.

The Law and Policy Lab reflects the law school’s belief that systematic examination of societal problems, informed by rigorous data analysis, can generate solutions to society’s most challenging public problems.  In addition to policy analysis, students hone the communications skills needed to translate their findings into actionable measures for policy leaders and the communities they serve. The practicums emphasize teamwork and collaboration, and many are interdisciplinary, giving law students the opportunity to work with faculty and colleagues from across the university with expertise in such fields as technology, environmental engineering, medicine, and international diplomacy, among others.

Policy Areas and Clients

policy areas and clients
The Law and Policy Lab brings students, faculty members, and policy makers together to work on projects of mutual interest and benefit. Practicums span a wide range of relevant and pressing policy areas, encompassing everything from network neutrality to China’s solar industry. The image above offers a glimpse of the topics covered by practicums and the diversity of clients seeking help.


Participating clients come from the local, state, federal and international levels. Drill down to see a sample list of clients from past practicums.

International Level
National Level
State Level
County Level

Featured Practicum Work

Law & Policy Lab 6

Student-driven Solutions to Real Policy Challenges

Law & Policy Lab 1

Students produced a policy report to the White House's Office of Management and Budget to assist future Administrations in deploying more effective administrative governance tools in the energy and environmental arenas.

Master Skills Classes for Future Change-Makers

For students enrolled in the Law and Policy Lab — and for those interested in achieving social change at scale — SLS offers 10 master classes that hone the empirical skills required for policy analysis. Students learn to hypothesize, organize, test, and evaluate policy issues, and are introduced to design thinking, stakeholder analysis, implementation strategies, cost-benefit analysis, statistical techniques, and regulatory drafting.

While not required for work in Law and Policy Lab practicums, skills classes offer a strong empirical complement to traditional legal advocacy. In the classroom, you tackle provocative problems and cases — learning to make decisions in conditions of uncertainty and to influence behavior through incentives, penalties, and “nudges,” as well as regulatory reform. In the field, you apply your skills to real-world challenges.

see all master skills classes
Students in Class

Join the Conversation