How to Lobby

a) How to Lobby Your State’s Legislature

  1. Be consistent. Lobbying for diploma privilege in your state is a year-round process. Try to reach out to a lawmaker in your state at least 6 times a year through emails, calls, texts, etc. In all communication, be sure to include your full name, email address, phone number, and address.
  2. Show respect. While lobbying can be frustrating and stir one’s emotions, it’s important to be respectful to your legislature and send follow-up thank-you notes, no matter what their response may be.
  3. Inform and be personable. Whether you’re a law school graduate, law school undergraduate, or a diploma privilege advocate, educate your lawmaker on your stance and you’re background. Hearing from a citizen who is firsthand in the topic being discussed can be very powerful.
  4. The more the merrier. Frequently remind your legislature of the people who side with your stance and how the issue at hand impacts many people.
  5. Find their position and leverage it. If they’re on your side, look into how you can expand support and recruit others to support your side. If they oppose your stance, investigate to see what would sway their stance–think public support, other states’ actions, economic constraints, etc. Use past examples of other states that have passed the bill supporting diploma privilege.
  6. Do your research. Bring facts and statistics with you that back your side. Statista and U.S. government databases are great places to find data to support your stance on the bill.
  7. Be timely in your communication/meetings with your legislature. Respect your legislature’s time, they are busy, and showing courtesy towards their crowded schedule can benefit your case of lobbying for diploma privilege in your state.

More information on lobbying legislature here

b) How to Lobby Law Schools

  1. Strategize. Find the dean of the law school in which you wish to lobby to for diploma privilege. Here’s a list of every dean from member law schools. You can find their office location, phone, email, and curriculum vitae there.
  2. Research. Do your research on the university’s current stance on diploma privilege. Has the dean made any statements regarding routes to becoming a lawyer in their state? Did their state temporarily allow diploma privilege during the COVID-19, if so, what were the impacts? Know the state and university’s history with diploma privilege before lobbying.
  3. Collaborate. See if there is an organization on campus that supports diploma privilege. Find students that are on your side.
  4. Communicate. Reach out to the dean of the school you are lobbying via email or text first. Introduce yourself and the purpose of your outreach and include all of your contact information in the email. Meeting face-to-face is always a more effective and personable way to communicate when it comes to lobbying, try and find a time to meet with them. Keep your email and all communication with them brief.
  5. Pitch. Keep your pitch under 5 minutes to respect the dean’s time. Every claim in your pitch should be backed by a fact. Bringing a fact sheet deliverable to a face-to-face meeting is an effective way to include more information on your stance while respecting the dean’s time. If you made a phone call, mention the fact sheet during the call and email it to them once you hang up.
  6. Follow-up. Within 24 hours of your meeting, follow up with the dean to thank them and remind them of the key talking points you brought up during the discussion. Stay in touch with them by contacting them at least 6 times throughout the year to show commitment to your stance and desire for change.

c) How to Lobby Your State’s Supreme Court

  1. Investigate. Locate the state’s supreme court you want to lobby and find their justices via a google search.
  2. Be flexible. Justice’s contact information will not be available to the public, however, you can find a state’s supreme court clerk’s information on the internet and reach out to them to vocalize your concern for diploma privilege in your state.
  3. Persistence. If the state’s supreme court clerk will not pass along your message to a justice or refuses to provide you with a justice’s contact information, you can try to reach out to the state’s justices on social media. In a direct message, be sure to include all your contact information and follow step a) 6. above for your message.
  4. Start a campaign or organization. If you’re still having trouble reaching a justice in your state, creating a campaign account on social media or forming an organization with others who support diploma privilege can help justices see all the support behind the proposal. Consistently tagging the state’s justices and supreme court in social media posts regarding revision to the process of becoming a lawyer will also help make evident your lobbying for diploma privilege.

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