Left to right: Faisal H. Sheikh, Frances J. Laviscount, Cindy M. Lott, James E. Tierney
About the Program
Inaugurated on March 1, 2004, the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School is a legal research, education-and-policy center that examines the implications of the jurisprudence of state attorneys general. Working closely with attorneys general, their staff, students, academics and other members of the legal community, the Program is active in the development and dissemination of legal information that state prosecutors are able to use in the carrying out of their civil and criminal responsibilities.
Under the leadership of Ellen P. Chapnick (Dean of Social Justice Initiatives at CLS), and Director James E. Tierney (former Attorney General of Maine), the AG Program is a cornerstone of Columbia's commitment to educating and developing its students and others to be innovators and leaders in government service. The Program offers courses on the Role of Attorneys General, and oversees Internships with offices of Attorneys General across the country. Additionally, the program hosts educational debates and speaker events at the Law School for the benefit of students and faculty.
Since its inception, the Program has focused its energies on several pointed, policy-driven projects in underdeveloped, emerging areas of jurisdiction for Attorneys General, including:
Through these projects, the Program has produced original research, developed web-resources, and hosted several conferences and summits that have led to important breakthroughs in AG offices across the country.
These multi-day, invitation only conferences have included participants ranging from Attorneys General and key deputies to lawyers from federal agencies, federal judges, academics, students from Columbia and other law schools, and prominent lawyers from the private and public interest bars. Columbia faculty and students have been panelists and papers written by Columbia students have been featured, many of which have gone on to be published in prominent law reviews and legal journals, and are relied on by Attorneys General throughout the nation.
In addition to Director Tierney's seminar course, The Role of the State Attorney General, the Program offers mentorship opportunities and externships for Columbia Law School students. The Program is available to assist students who are interested in state-level policy as well as those interested in summer internships at offices of state attorneys general around the country. In addition, the Program launched a post-doctorate fellow program in the fall of 2009, through which recent law school graduates have worked on important cases on behalf of states to produce valuable memos on timely issues.
The Program's website is publicly available as a resource on all aspects of the role of state attorneys general in setting and affecting public policy. Online resources include information on particular policy areas, a wide range of published papers, student papers, news articles, and audiovisual materials, and a search function allowing visitors to readily browse the Program's archived materials.
Ellen P. Chapnick
Dean for Social Justice Initiatives, Columbia Law School
James E. Tierney
Director, National State Attorneys General Program, Lecturer-in Law, Columbia Law School
Cindy M. Lott, Lead Counsel, Charities Law Project
Faisal H. Sheikh, Staff Attorney
Karin K. Goldman, Charities Project Consultant
Frances Laviscount, Program Coordinator
Social Justice Initiatives
The National State Attorneys General Program operates at Columbia Law School under the auspices of Social Justice Initiatives, led by Dean Ellen P. Chapnick. Visit SJI's website for more information on their many ongoing projects.