Legal backdrop.

This outline is a suggestion only; you may use another format if you choose. However, your paper should include the subject matter included in this outline. We will

talk more about each section in class.

I.    Introduction. About one-half page. One or two sentences each on the general subject matter and each of the following sections of the paper.

II.    Factual description of the situation that the government action is addressing. Two to three pages. If your government action is an agency rulemaking, what is

the situation that made the agency feel that some action was needed? If your government action is a permit, describe the facility that is seeking a permit. This

section should not get into the opinions of the different sides, but as much as possible stick to the facts that gave rise to the need for government action.

III.    Legal backdrop. About two pages. If your government action is a rule making, what statute is it implementing? What were the previous regulations on this

subject? If your government action is legislation, what was the previous law that the legislation changes? If your government action is a permitting, what law applies?

IV.    Positions and opinions of various parties, or pros and cons of the government action. About four pages. Go into both sides of the issue in a sympathetic way,

even if you feel strongly that one side is “right.”

V.    What would be (or would have been) the best outcome, and why? Three to four pages.

VI.    Conclusion – short paragraph that sums up sections IV and V.


Following the standard procedure for legal documents and journals, all references should be in footnotes, with no bibliography at the end of the paper. Please use the

format found at  The citation form for all state and U.S. regulations and statutes, as well as citations to legal articles and

online materials, can be found there. We will also go over citation form in class before your first draft is due.