Originally published in UBNow - December 21, 2017
The School of Law has joined the Rockefeller Institute of Government in launching a new center to examine pressing issues at the intersection of law and policy, and their effects on local communities.
The new Center for Law and Policy Solutions (CLPS) also includes as partners the Government Law Center at Albany Law School and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs.
Led by Katie Zuber, assistant director for policy and research at the Rockefeller Institute, CLPS aims to inform the development of good public policy through evidence-based practice and research. With a strong focus on state and local government issues, it will assist policymakers, community organizers and the general public in identifying relevant solutions to complex social policy problems.
As part of CLPS’ commitment to good governance and informed decision-making, student interns will assist researchers in analyzing, interpreting and disseminating research findings to key stakeholders.
UB law school Dean Aviva Abramovsky will serve as a member of the center’s five-person advisory committee that will provide strategic direction for the center.
“As New York State’s flagship public law school with a long-standing history of interdisciplinary education in the pursuit of social justice, the University at Buffalo School of Law is particularly suited to partner in this critical effort to craft real solutions for New York citizens,” Abramovsky says. “Together we can achieve results none of us could do alone.”
CLPS’ collaborative alliance among lawyers, social science researchers and public administrators will provide a strong, interdisciplinary foundation to the study of pressing public policy issues, ranging from sanctuary cities and immigrant rights to criminal justice reforms and the emerging opioid crisis.
“The center’s internship program will give tomorrow’s leaders a firm grounding in the use of data and research in the decision-making process, as well as hands-on experience building consensus around an issue,” says Jim Malatras, president of the Rockefeller Institute, who will serve as a senior adviser to the center. “At the same time, it will offer objective, evidence-based solutions to important policy problems.”
In carrying out its mission, CLPS also seeks to improve attitudes toward government.
“Knitting together the academic community and our youth to develop public policy is such a worthy endeavor,” says Scott Fein, senior adviser to the center and chair of the Government Law Center’s Advisory Board. “Harnessing facts and building consensus among those with differing views in an effort to promote civil discourse may prove an antidote to cynicism about the governmental process.”
The Center for Law and Policy Solutions will be housed in the Rockefeller Institute in Albany and provide administrative staff, while the UB law school, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and the Government Law Center will provide volunteer policy staff and researchers to work on specific issues.