Crafting Comment Letters: Teach Policy, Develop Skills, and Shape Pending Regulation
Tennessee Journal of Business Law, vol. 18, 2016
18 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2016 Last revised: 9 Feb 2017
Date Written: August 18, 2016
This essay unpacks the regulatory comment letter process and how to incorporate it into the law school curriculum. Participating in live rulemaking offers unique opportunities for students, from mastering the substantive area of law, developing critical thinking skills, and developing their professional identities and expertise. We describe our own experiences in incorporating students into the regulatory rulemaking process. Because of our focus on securities law, our students review and comment on proposed actions by securities regulators — the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After providing an overview of the pedagogical and practical rationale for incorporating the securities rulemaking process into our courses, we describe how we teach the process to students, from identifying appropriate rules to submitting a comment. We conclude with a discussion of the outcomes and benefits that we and our students experienced after adding the live rulemaking process to our pedagogical toolkits.
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