2023 Advanced Legislative Drafting


This course offers an intensive experience in drafting legislation. The course begins with a refresher in the basics of legislative drafting and quickly progresses to more advanced concepts. Over a period of days, participants will organize and draft a long, complex bill involving the reorganization of government bodies. Some prior experience in legislative drafting or legislation is helpful.


The seminars are currently offered both in-person and online simultaneously, at the choice of the participant. This choice must be indicated at the time of registration. A small number of courses are scheduled to be delivered exclusively in person or online, and are indicated as such in the 2023 schedule. In-Person Only seminars usually start at 9:30 am Washington D.C. time. Daily sessions usually end at 4:00 pm. Breaks (including the lunch break) are allocated as appropriate. Online Only seminars will be delivered through five (for 1-week course) or ten (for 2-weeks course) live online sessions via videoconferencing platform. Each session will last approximately 3.5 hours and will be scheduled to start within a time window of 7:00 am – 8:30 am Washington D.C. time. Hybrid In-Person/Online seminars will start at a time most convenient to both in-person and online participants, and will generally follow the In-Person seminar format. We expect the classes to be highly interactive and can include presentations, case studies and exercises.

Course Outline

Drafting a Simple Bill

  • Learning to convert a legislative proposal into a bill for introduction in a legislative chamber

Drafting Amendments to a Bill and to Law

  • “Floor” (whole House) amendments
  • Amendments to existing law

Instruction on Specialized Legislative Processes

  • Budget and appropriations rules and problems
  • Administrative Law

Drafting a Government Grant Program

  • Instruction in selection and drafting of legislative language authorizing grants

Drafting Government Reorganization

  • Establishing a Government Agency
  • Abolishing a Government Agency
  • Consolidating Government Agencies
  • Savings (“grandfather”) clauses
  • Transition provisions
  • Repeals

Drafting a Complex Bill

  • Organization of Legislative Provisions
  • Close Supervision and Review of Drafting Work

Course Advisors:

Warren Burke is a senior counsel in the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the United States House of Representatives, where he drafts legislation on a nonpartisan basis. He taught legislative drafting and procedure at the Graduate School, USDA, from 2008 to 2016, taught a 2-week workshop for the legislative drafting services of the Liberian House and Senate in 2013, and co-teaches an annual evening CLE class on statute and regulation drafting at the DC Bar Association. He was among the founders of the International Conference on Legislation and Law Reform which he chaired from 2013 through 2018. He has served the Federal Bar Association as General Counsel, National Parliamentarian, and Chair of the Constitution, Bylaws, Rules, and Resolutions Committee. He received his JD from Tulane Law School and his BA from The University of Texas at Austin.

Kimberly K. Faith is formerly assistant counsel for the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the United States House of Representatives, where she drafted over 500 pieces of legislation for elected Members of Congress. She is currently in private practice and serves as an adjunct professor at various universities. She is active in the international legislative drafting community; she is an organizer of the International Conference on Legislation and Law Reform, for which she is the 2021 conference chair, she served as guest editor of the International Journal of Legislative Drafting and Law Reform in 2018 and 2019, and she is an active member of the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel. She regularly teaches courses on the American government and the Constitution and has taught a three-week intensive course on federal legislation and legislative drafting at her alma mater, Tulane University Law School. She received a Juris Doctorate degree from Tulane University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Development from the University of California, Los Angeles.