ALA students can earn a maximum of five credits through webinars, though students are welcome to view as many as they choose.

This webinar originally aired on April 21st, 2016

This webinar with Simon Lester, a trade policy analyst with the Cato Institute's Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, helps turn you into a strong policy researcher and writer — someone who writes with the ease, confidence, clarity, and modes of persuasion necessary to influence policy changes. Newer policy writers will learn the styles and genres of research policy writing and gain mastery over the short policy memo style. Lester discusses the working process for writing a sound policy paper and problems you may face as a think tank policy writer — with attention to the research methods, modes of analysis, persuasive arguments, recommendations, refutations, and graphic support that turn research and advocacy into action. Lester will also teach you the strategies, techniques, and production habits of highly skilled policy writers in think tank environment.

Lester's research focuses on World Trade Organization disputes, regional trade agreements, disguised protectionism, and the history of international trade law. Before joining the Cato Institute, he worked for the trade law practice of a Washington, D.C., law firm, and also as a legal affairs officer at the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization. In 2001 he founded the international trade law website He has written a number of law journal articles, which have appeared in such publications as the Stanford Journal of International Law, the George Washington International Law Review, and the Journal of World Trade. He has also taught courses on international trade law at American University’s Washington College of Law and the University of Michigan Law School. He has a J.D. from Harvard Law School.