Administrative Law Courses
The courses listed below provide a taste of the Administrative Law courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.
PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.
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- Administrative Law
- Bankruptcy and Reorganization: The Federal Bankruptcy Code
- Climate Change and the Law
- Comparative Legal Institutions
- Constitutional Law VII: Parent, Child, and State
- Corporate Compliance and Business Integration
- Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law
- Derivatives in the Post-Crisis Marketplace
- Education Law & Policy
- Employee Benefits Law
- Employment Law Clinic
- Energy Law
- Energy Transactions Seminar
- Environmental Law in Bankruptcy and Transactions
- Environmental Law: Air, Water, and Animals
- Environmental and Energy Justice
- Fair Housing
- Financial Regulation Law
- Food Law
- Foreign Relations Law
- Global Human Rights Clinic
- Greenberg Seminars: The Ethic of Aesthetics -- Examining the Interactions Between Law and Visual Art
- Greenberg Seminars: The Evil Corporation
- Greenberg Seminars: Order Without Law
- Greenberg Seminars: Rational Do-Gooding
- Greenberg Seminars: Wine and the Law
- Hopi/Alaska Law Practicum
- Immigrants' Rights Clinic
- Immigration Law
- International Arbitration
- Introduction to American Law and Legal Institutions
- Labor Law
- Law and Economic Development
- Law and Public Policy: Case Studies in Problem Solving
- Local Government Law
- Oil and Gas Law
- Pandemic Legal Impacts
- Poverty and Housing Law Clinic
- Public Choice and Law
- Public International Law
- Race and the Law
- Regulation of Banks and Financial Institutions
- Regulation of Drug, Devices, Biologics, and Cosmetics
- Regulation of Sexuality
- The Role and Practice of the State Attorney General
- Topics in State and Local Finance
- Toxics, Toxic Torts and Environmental Injustice
- U.S. Taxation of International Transactions
This course will study the law governing the administrative state - the executive departments of the federal government. Among other things, we will consider the constitutional foundations of the administrative state; the statutes, especially the Administrative Procedure Act, that govern administrative agencies; presidential control of administrative agencies; the role of agencies in interpreting statutes and regulations; and judicial review of agency action. A central theme is the tension between values associated with the rule of law (such as procedural regularity, transparency, democratic accountability, and reasoned decisionmaking) and the demands of effective executive action. Students' grades are based on a final examination.
- Winter 2023: David A Strauss
- Autumn 2022: Thomas Ginsburg
- Spring 2022: Jennifer Nou
- Winter 2022: David A. Strauss
- Autumn 2021: Jennifer Nou
- Winter 2020: David A. Strauss
- Spring 2019: Jennifer Nou
- Spring 2018: Jennifer Nou
- Autumn 2017: Nicholas Stephanopoulos
This course studies the Federal Bankruptcy Code and the law of corporate reorganization. Topics include the rights of creditors in bankruptcy, the relationship between bankruptcy law and state law, the treatment of executory contracts, bankruptcy planning, the restructuring of corporations in Chapter 11, and the procedure for confirming plans of reorganization. There are no prerequisites for this course. This class has a final exam.
- Winter 2023: Anthony Joseph Casey
- Spring 2022: Joshua C. Macey
- Winter 2022: Anthony J. Casey
- Autumn 2020: Douglas Baird
- Winter 2020: Douglas Baird
- Autumn 2018: Douglas Baird
Climate Change and the Law will address doctrinal issues related to climate change. Students will study international climate agreements, the law of climate attribution, and other issues about how the law can be used to address the climate crisis. Readings will be posted on Canvas. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a paper and a presentation. Enrollment limited to 14. Participation may be considered in final grading. Interested students should submit a brief statement of interest to the professors no later than 5pm on Monday, February 21 (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com).
- Spring 2023: Hajin Kim and Joshua C. Macey
- Spring 2022: Hajin Kim and Joshua C. Macey
This course is designed to examine a range of legal institutions from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It is not a traditional course in comparative law, in that it focuses not so much on particular rules of substantive law but on the structure of different legal systems and the consequences of those structural differences for law and society. In particular, we will focus on the economic impact of legal traditions. Readings will be drawn from legal and social science literature, including works from anthropology, economics, political science and sociology. The course will explicitly cover non-Western legal traditions to an extent not found in conventional comparative law courses. Furthermore, American institutions are explicitly included in the comparison: this is not simply a course in foreign law. Assessment is by a three-hour take-home exam. In lieu of taking the exam, there is an option to write a research paper (6000-7500 words) sufficient to fulfill the substantial writing requirement; LLM, second-year and third-year students can exercise this option freely but only a limited number of first-year students may avail themselves of it. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2023: Tom Ginsburg
- Spring 2022: Tom Ginsburg
This course considers the constitutional law governing the rights of parents and children and the role that constitutional law plays in shaping children's development. Among the topics discussed are parents' right to control the upbringing of their children; children's rights of speech, religion, procreative freedom and against cruel and unusual punishment; children's procedural rights in school and in the criminal justice system; parental identity rights, including rights associated with paternity claims, termination proceedings, assisted reproduction, and adoption; the scope of the state's authority to intervene to protect children, to regulate their conduct, or to influence their upbringing; and the role of race and culture in defining the family.
This class has a final exam or a major paper may be written (6000-7500 words). Students wishing to pursue the paper option should contact the instructor to discuss this within the first week of class.
- Spring 2023: Emily Buss
- Spring 2021: Emily Buss
- Spring 2019: Emily Buss
- Spring 2018: Emily Buss
This seminar explores the rapidly expanding scope of Corporate Compliance across industries and the evolving role of corporate compliance officers as business partners and culture champions. Study begins with a foundational overview of the relevant legal and policy mandates, proceeds to explore Corporate Compliance's role in operational oversight and risk mitigation, and finishes with an examination of Corporate Compliance's evolving role in enterprise risk, strategy and culture. The first section of the course will provide insight into the legal, regulatory and risk management considerations that have driven business organizations to develop and enhance their internal programs for identifying and managing compliance risks. The second section will focus on case studies from different industries, and from the separate perspectives of business leaders, regulators, consumers and employees. The final section of the course will focus on the intersection of compliance and organizational culture, and illustrate how to leverage the tools of policy, training, and leadership engagement to build cultures of integrity. The course will include academic, regulatory and business readings as well as interactive case studies, where students will apply practical solutions to real risk and corporate integrity challenges faced by multinational organizations in a variety of sectors and explore the consequences for the compliance function. Student evaluation is based on a 3-part Group Project on a corporate compliance program's response to a series of hypotheticals. Each student in the group will serve as a main presenter once. Each group assignment is accompanied by a short (3-5 pages) supplemental paper to be completed individually by each group member. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Autumn 2021: Forrest James Deegan
- Autumn 2020: Forrest James Deegan
- Autumn 2019: Forrest James Deegan
- Autumn 2018: Forrest James Deegan
This seminar covers a series of issues in national security and foreign relations law, with a focus on historical and constitutional foundations, the roles of courts, war power and uses of force (including targeted killings), covert action, military detention of alleged terrorists, military commissions, and select issues of international law. Each class will focus on a different topic, with advance reading assigned around each topic, and grading on the basis of two short reflection papers (3-5 pages each) and a final paper in the form of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion (6000-7500 words), including a majority and dissent) on a select issue in national security and foreign relations law. Guest speakers may be invited to help facilitate discussion on certain topics. Participation may be considered in final grading.
Criminal law is prerequisite.
- Winter 2023: Michael Y. Scudder
- Winter 2022: Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
- Winter 2021: Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
- Winter 2019: Patrick J. Fitzgerald
In this seminar, we will explore the vital role that derivatives such as futures, forwards, options and swaps play in the financial system and the impact that post-crisis reforms have had on the derivatives marketplace. We will begin with a brief history of derivatives, an introduction to the core building blocks of the product and an overview of the agencies, regulations and statutes governing derivatives use, including the Bankruptcy Code and similar restructuring and resolution laws. We will then explore the role that derivatives played in the financial crisis and discuss the regulatory architecture put in place to mitigate the perceived risks of derivatives both in the U.S. under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and abroad under various regimes. In order to understand some of the law's grey areas, we will also discuss pivotal case law, including Metavante and Lomas. Turning to the future, we will evaluate changes in the current marketplace, explore trends in derivatives use and delve into new trading architectures such as central clearing and blockchain, with a particular focus on the regulatory challenges these technologies pose and due consideration to the current tumultuous macroeconomic climate. We will touch on recent events such as the Archegos meltdown and "GameStop" controversy. We will conclude with an in-depth discussion of the credit default swap auction process by reference to case studies such as Codere, Hovnanian, iHeart and Windstream. Grades will be based on a paper (6000-7500 words) on a topic of the student's choice as well as class participation.
- Autumn 2022: Jaime A. Madell
- Autumn 2021: Jaime A. Madell
- Autumn 2020: Jaime A. Madell
- Autumn 2019: Jaime A. Madell
Public schools have been a dramatic setting for Constitutional challenges for over 100 years, and K-12 education has been shaped by cases on the role of government in education, by policies intended to promote equality of opportunity and access, and by evolving methods of reform. Students will examine well-established education precedents while learning how education law and policy have developed. The class focus, however, will be on cutting-edge issues.
Students will explore policy choices under theories of jurisprudence including critical race theory and law and economics. Readings will include Constitutional issues of speech, privacy, equal protection, and freedom of religion, as well as state constitutional rights to adequate education. In addition, there will be applications of statutory and regulatory law. Broad course themes include: equity in access to education and the disparate impact of policy choices, particularly during the pandemic, on students who are members of groups with limited access to educational opportunity historically; the goals of public education and the tension between government authority to ensure these goals are met, and family rights to control the values and education presented to their children; and the balance between freedom of expression for students and the goal of schools to provide a safe teaching and learning environment. Current disputes will be analyzed through the lens of access to a quality education at every aspect of the education process.
Topics may include: K-12 student data privacy; transgender student rights; practices that may create a school-to-prison pipeline; safe spaces and the First Amendment; artificial intelligence digital tutors and rights to adequate education; tax credit scholarships for religious schools; the impact of growth of charter schools; teachers' rights to work conditions in a pandemic; sanctuary districts and excluding immigrants from the Census; and K-12 teacher tenure and compensation.
This class requires a major paper (6000-7500 words). Participation may be considered in final grading. This is a remote class that will have two required in person sessions at the end of the quarter. Students may sit in Room B to attend the remote sessions on their laptop.
- Spring 2023: Susan Epstein
- Spring 2021: Susan Epstein
This seminar will provide an introduction to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other federal statutes regulating employee benefit plans in the private sector. The course will cover many types of plans, including defined benefit pension plans, individual account retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans), medical plans, other welfare benefit plans and executive compensation programs. It will provide a basic understanding of fiduciary standards governing plan administration and the investment of plan assets; minimum standards for benefits and funding; benefit claim dispute resolution procedures and standards of judicial review; federal preemption of state laws; and key issues which arise in ERISA litigation. The course is intended for students interested in a broader labor and employment practice; a mergers and acquisitions or general corporate practice; or a civil litigation practice. Although our primary mission will be to prepare students for the practice of law, we also will explore whether the law governing employee benefit plans is operating effectively and in accordance with its stated purposes. Students will be graded on class participation and on short reaction and/or research papers. There are no prerequisites required for this seminar.
- Autumn 2021: Charles Wolf and Philip Mowery
- Autumn 2020: Charles Wolf
- Autumn 2019: Charles Wolf and Philip Mowery
- Spring 2019: Charles Wolf and Philip Mowery
- Autumn 2018: Charles Wolf and Philip Mowery
Randall D. Schmidt and his students operate the Clinic's Employment Law Clinic. The Clinic focuses primarily on pre-trial litigation and handles a number of individual cases and class actions. In individual cases, the Clinic represents clients in cases in federal court or the Illinois Human Rights Commission and seeks to obtain relief for clients from race, sex, national origin, and handicap discrimination in the work place. In the class actions, the Clinic represents groups of employees in employment and civil rights actions in federal court. Additionally, the Clinic is appointed each year to represent a few clients in appeals pending before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and in settlement conferences in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Finally, in addition to its individual cases and law reform/impact cases, the Clinic seeks to improve the procedures and remedies available to victims of employment discrimination so that employees have a fair opportunity to present their claims in a reasonably expeditious way. To accomplish this goal, the Clinic is active in the legislative arena and participates with other civil rights groups in efforts to amend and improve state and federal laws. It is suggested, but not required, that all students in the Employment Law Clinic take the Employment Discrimination Law seminar. It is recommended that third-year students take, prior to their third year, either the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop or some other trial practice course. The student's grade is based on class participation. Academic credit varies and will be awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty. Evidence is a prerequisite for 3L's in the clinic. The Intensive Trial Practice Workshop (or an equivalent trial practice course) is recommended for 3L's in the clinic.
Students will be evaluated on their written and oral work on behalf of the Clinic's clients.
- Winter 2023: Randall Schmidt
- Autumn 2022: Randall Schmidt
- Spring 2023: Randall Schmidt
- Spring 2022: Randall Schmidt
- Winter 2022: Randall Schmidt
- Autumn 2021: Randall Schmidt
- Spring 2021: Randall Schmidt
- Winter 2021: Randall Schmidt
- Autumn 2020: Randall Schmidt
- Spring 2020: Randall Schmidt
- Winter 2020: Randall Schmidt
- Autumn 2019: Randall Schmidt
- Spring 2019: Randall Schmidt
- Winter 2019: Randall Schmidt
- Autumn 2018: Randall Schmidt
- Spring 2018: Randall Schmidt
- Winter 2018: Randall Schmidt
- Autumn 2017: Randall Schmidt
Energy touches all of our daily lives, even as it historically remained unseen by the public eye and under-considered in the public discourse. Energy law governs the production, consumption, and disposal of energy resources.
This course examines energy law and policy in the United States. Energy law is interdisciplinary by nature, and our study of the field will reflect that. Energy law relies heavily on legal doctrine, but it also raises questions of policy, economics, and the environment. Accordingly, this course will rely on both (1) the traditional study of case law, statutes, and regulations and (2) case studies and materials that draw on and raise other aspects of energy law and policy.
The first part of the course surveys the world's primary sources of energy: coal, oil, biofuels, natural gas, hydropower, nuclear, wind, solar, and geothermal energy. This part also introduces you to the main themes that we will cover throughout the course, namely: (1) the tension between free markets and government regulation; (2) federalism issues and, more broadly, the division of U.S. regulatory authority governing energy production and use among federal, state, and local governmental units; and (3) balancing energy production and use with environmental protection. The second part of the course turns to the two major sectors of the U.S. energy economy: electricity and transportation. The third part of the course explores hot topics in energy law and policy that highlight the complex transitions taking place in today's energy systems. These topics include grid modernization and the continued role of nuclear energy.
This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Winter 2023: Joshua C. Macey
- Autumn 2021: Joshua C. Macey
- Spring 2021: Joshua C. Macey
The Energy Transactions Seminar exposes students to current issues facing energy transactions practitioners. Topics covered include wind, solar, and pipeline project development, domestic and international upstream oil and gas, facilities procurement/construction, the natural resources curse, energy finance, and energy litigation/arbitration trends. The Energy Transactions Seminar also includes the West Africa exploration bid round simulation, in which teams bid on petroleum licenses in West Africa, engage in a multilateral negotiation with other teams to acquire and divest license interests, and then drill wells by rolling dice to determine which of the 50 petroleum prospects are discoveries.
The student's grade will be based upon in-class participation (15%), negotiation effectiveness and performance in the simulation (25%), and a final paper (60%).
- Spring 2023: Shelby Gaille
- Spring 2021: Shelby Gaille
This seminar will provide an overview of environmental transactional and environmental bankruptcy topics. Environmental issues often play a critical role in business and corporate transactions. This class will provide practical skills development focusing on the environmental aspects of transactions, with a core emphasis on the identification, management and allocation of environmental liability risks in many different types of transactions. In the bankruptcy arena, this course will provide an understanding of key environmental bankruptcy concepts, how to harmonize the conflicting goals of bankruptcy and environmental law, and how environmental liabilities are managed during the bankruptcy process. Students will gain practical experience in learning how environmental bankruptcy cases are handled. This class requires a series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2023: Tobias Chun and Jeanne T. Cohn
- Spring 2022: Tobias Chun and Jeanne T. Cohn
- Spring 2021: Tobias Chun and Jeanne T. Cohn
This survey course explores the major domestic policies in place to protect the environment, with a focus on clean air and water and animal conservation (e.g., the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act). The course is a complement to Professor Templeton's Toxic Torts and Environmental Justice course; neither is a prerequisite for the other, and the two share little overlap. We'll spend some time on the regulation of climate change and will discuss issues of environmental justice embedded in each of the major topics.
This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2023: Hajin Kim
- Spring 2022: Hajin Kim
- Spring 2021: Hajin Kim
This seminar will examine environmental and energy laws and policies from the perspectives of distributive, procedural, corrective, and social justice. After reviewing causal theories, risk and public health considerations, and constitutional and civil rights claims, the course will turn toward a review of how environmental standard-setting, permitting, and enforcement affect communities, with a particular focus on low-income communities and people of color. The seminar will also cover the emerging field of energy justice, which examines how the burdens and benefits of the energy system impact different communities. Each student will be expected to help lead at least one seminar session, and assessment will be based on class participation and a final paper (6000-7500 words)
- Winter 2023: Mark Templeton
This course addresses the regulation of banks and other financial institutions in the United States. The focus will be on the current regulatory scheme, with some attention to the 2008 financial crisis, the history of financial regulation, and proposals for reform. The student's grade will be based on participation and a final examination. Students should purchase a hardcopy edition of the required textbook. The e-book only option does not allow offline access which may be required for the in-class proctored exam.
- Autumn 2021: Eric A. Posner
- Spring 2021: Eric A. Posner
This course will focus on the law and policy of fair housing, broadly construed. Substantial attention will be devoted to antidiscrimination laws in housing, including the federal Fair Housing Act. We will also explore existing and proposed policies for improving access of lower-income people to housing. The causes and consequences of residential segregation will be examined, as well as the effects of zoning and other land use controls. Additional topics may include gentrification, eviction, squatting, mortgages and foreclosures, and the use of eminent domain. Grading is based on a final examination; participation may be taken into account as indicated on the syllabus.
- Spring 2023: Lee Fennell
- Spring 2021: Lee Fennell
This seminar will examine issues relating to food law and food policy. Topic covered will include: food safety, food advertising and labeling, genetically modified agriculture, food deserts, regulation of food quality, restaurant regulations, and more. Students will have to write 6000-7500 word research paper (which could, but does not have to, satisfy WP or SRP credit) and make a presentation in class.
Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Winter 2023: Omri Ben-Shahar
- Autumn 2021: Omri Ben-Shahar
- Autumn 2020: Omri Ben-Shahar
This course examines the constitutional and statutory doctrines that regulate the conduct of American foreign relations. Topics include the distribution of foreign relations powers between the three branches of the federal government, the status of international law in U.S. courts, the scope of the treaty power, the validity of executive agreements, the preemption of state foreign relations activities, the power to declare and conduct war, and the political question and other doctrines regulating judicial review in foreign relations cases.
This class has a final exam.
- Spring 2023: Curtis Bradley
- Spring 2022: Curtis Bradley
The Global Human Rights Clinic (GHRC) works alongside partners and communities to advance justice and address the inequalities and structural disparities that lead to human rights violations worldwide. The clinic uses diverse tactics and interdisciplinary methods to tackle pressing and under addressed human rights issues. Working in project teams, students develop essential lawyering skills, including oral advocacy, fact-finding, research, legal and non-legal persuasive writing, interviewing, media advocacy, cultural competency, strategic thinking, teamwork, and leadership. The clinic uses a broad range of tactics, including documentation, reporting and mixed methods factfinding; legislative and institutional reform; investigations; and litigation. GHRC has a broad range of partners and clients, including the United Nations, international tribunals, as well as community-based organizations and national civil society. In 2022-23, likely projects will include international criminal justice investigations of war crimes and mass atrocities; advancing international norms and laws pertaining to unlawful executions; advancing the rights of migrants and refugees; and promoting women's rights and gender equality. For more information on the Clinic's work, visit the GHRC's website: https://www.law.uchicago.edu/ghrc and Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GHRChicago. Students may enroll for up to three credits in the Clinic per quarter. New students to GHRC enrolled in the J.D. program should plan to take the Clinic for three quarters for a minimum of two credits each quarter, unless they receive faculty approval prior to registration. Continuing J.D. students and LLMs may take the Clinic for any allowable amount of credits and quarters. Participation may be considered in final grading. Students who have particular language skills, especially Spanish or French, are highly encouraged to participate. Recommended (not required) co-requisites: Public International Law; International Human Rights Law.
- Autumn 2022: Anjli Parrin
- Spring 2023: Anjli Parrin
- Winter 2023: Anjli Parrin
- Spring 2022: Claudia M. Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
- Winter 2022: Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
- Autumn 2021: Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
- Spring 2021: Claudia M. Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
- Winter 2021: Claudia M. Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
- Autumn 2020: Claudia M. Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
Greenberg Seminars: The Ethic of Aesthetics -- Examining the Interactions Between Law and Visual Art
The seminar explores ethical and legal problems that lie in the intersection of law and visual arts. The co-instructor, Laura Letinsky, is an artist and a Professor at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. Topics include valuation of visual art, gender barriers in the art world, museological and related institutional practices and policies regarding ownership and sale of art, the manipulative uses of visual depiction in advertising, laws that prohibit visual recordings of animal agriculture, and more. Some background readings and films will be assigned prior to each meeting.
The seminar will meet five times during the Autumn and Winter terms, with the meeting alternating across the professors' homes. Each meeting will start at 7:30pm with a home cooked meal. Please block the following six dates: October 19, November 16 and 30, January 11 and 25, February 8.
Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2022: Omri Ben-Shahar and Laura Letinsky
- Winter 2023: Omri Ben-Shahar and Laura Letinsky
- Spring 2023: Omri Ben-Shahar and Laura Letinsky
This seminar looks at the depiction of corporations as evildoers in fiction. The course materials will include various films, books, and television shows where corporations play major antagonist roles. The seminar will ask whether the depiction is grounded in reality and how it reflects popular views of the role that businesses play in society. We will also explore legal themes related to corporate social responsibility, legal personhood, and corporate criminality while asking how these legal issues interact with the fictional depictions we study. The seminar will meet at 6:30 pm on January 11, January 25, February 8, and February 22. The time and date of the final meeting will be determined later. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the winter quarter.
- Spring 2023: Anthony Casey, Joshua Macey, and Emily Underwood
- Winter 2023: Anthony Casey, Joshua Macey, and Emily Underwood
This Greenberg will explore the informal social ordering that takes shape in the shadow of the law and in law's interstitial spaces. We will begin with Robert Ellickson's influential book about how cattle ranchers in Shasta County, California settle disputes outside the governing property rules and in ways that deviate from them. Other topics may include: the informal IP of Roller Derby pseudonyms, extralegal agreements among diamond sellers, dispute resolution among tuna merchants, systems of social sanctions within prisons, and the use of textiles as informal property and currency among enslaved people, women, and others who lacked formal property rights. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Winter 2023: John Rappaport and Bridget Fahey
Effective Altruism is an important movement. In this seminar we will read books that favor saving human lives in the short and long run, but we will also question these goals and ask how and why we can do the most good after our law school experiences. Should we work hard and then donate money to good causes, or should we participate in a personal way? Should we care about the environment when it is at the sacrifice of caring about Malaria in parts of the world where people are suffering every day?
You must be free on Thursday evenings after 7pm (for 5 or 6 meetings) in the Autumn and Winter. We will be joined by Visiting Faculty, and we will have dessert or dinner at the Professors' home. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2022: Julie Roin and Saul Levmore
- Winter 2023:Julie Roin and Saul Levmore
- Spring 2023:Julie Roin and Saul Levmore
This year long seminar will consider the law and politics of wine production and regulation in the US and elsewhere. There will be an empirical research component. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2021: Tom Ginsburg and Johnathan Masur
Students will work directly with Alaskan Native Corporations, Alaskan Native Villages, and the Hopi Appellate Court (Arizona). One project is on the impact of climate change on legal access to sustainable food sources (e.g., caribou and salmon). The student will work as part of a National Science Foundation grant, as an input of the tribal perspective into the broader issue. This will involve research (including talking to relevant stakeholders and potentially field research), as well as crafting parts of the final report. The other Alaskan project is about corporate governance of Alaskan for-profit and non-profit regional corporations. Shareholding in these is limited by statute, but can be expanded under certain circumstances. This is a vital issue for many natives, as the existing shareholder base is limited and viewed by many as inequitable. There are many interesting governance issues with huge impact and wide appeal. The work will involve crafting a policy memo that summarizes the existing state of play, legal rules, and suggested strategic approach. It will be an input into a regional chiefs meeting in Fairbanks, and will have the potential to have a big impact on the future of Alaska natives. The final project involves assisting the Hopi Appellate Court as a law clerk.
- Spring 2022: M. Todd Henderson
- Winter 2022: M. Todd Henderson
- Spring 2020: M. Todd Henderson
- Winter 2020: M. Todd Henderson
- Autumn 2019: M. Todd Henderson
- Winter 2018: M. Todd Henderson and Justin Richland
- Autumn 2017: M. Todd Henderson and Justin Richland
The Immigrants' Rights Clinic provides legal representation to immigrant communities in Chicago, including individual representation of immigrants in removal proceedings, immigration-related complex federal litigation, and policy and community education projects on behalf of community-based organizations. Students will interview clients, develop claims and defenses, draft complaints, engage in motion practice and settlement discussions, appear in federal, state, and administrative courts, conduct oral arguments and trials, brief and argue appeals, and engage in media advocacy. In the policy and community education projects, students may develop and conduct community presentations, draft and advocate for legislation at the state and local levels, research and draft public policy reports, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations.
Past and current projects include challenges to national security detention, a civil rights lawsuit alleging Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment challenges against state law enforcement involved in an arrest that led to deportation, Seventh Circuit appeals of removal orders, representation of asylum seekers and human trafficking victims, suing local police departments for failure to comply with immigration-related Illinois state laws, representing Afghans left behind after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and publication of the first guide to the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for criminal defense attorneys in Illinois.
The seminar will meet for two hours per week and will include classes on the fundamentals of immigration law and policy as well as skills-based classes that connect to the students' fieldwork. Both 2L and 3L students are encouraged to apply. 2Ls must enroll for 2 credits per quarter. 3Ls can enroll for 2 or 3 credits per quarter. Students are encouraged (but not required) to co-enroll in Immigration Law in the fall.
- Autumn 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2023: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2023: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Autumn 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Autumn 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
This course explores the U.S. immigration system. It will focus on the federal laws and policies that regulate the admission and exclusion of immigrants. Topics covered will include: the visa system, deportation and removal, forms of relief from deportation, the law of asylum, immigration enforcement and detention, and proposed reforms to the immigration system. The course will also consider how immigration law connects to both constitutional law and foreign policy.This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Autumn 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2020: Adam S. Chilton
- Autumn 2018: Allison Tirres
- Spring 2018: Adam S. Chilton
This seminar provides a basic foundation in the law and mechanics of international commercial arbitration and international investment treaty arbitration. It will give students an understanding of the substantive and strategic issues that frequently confront international arbitration practitioners. The Seminar covers, among other things, the crafting of international arbitration agreements, the relative advantages and disadvantages of ad hoc UNCITRAL-Rules arbitration and institutional arbitration (e.g., ICC, LCIA, ICDR, ICSID). The seminar also addresses the rules of procedure that commonly govern international arbitration, including procedural issues that commonly arise in international arbitration, including the availability and extent of discovery, pre-hearing procedure, the presentation of evidence, and the enforcement of international arbitral awards. The Seminar also will cover the fundamentals of international investment arbitration, including the jurisdictional issues that commonly arise in investor-state arbitration and the types of treaty claims that are commonly asserted under international law. While there will be a fair amount of traditional lecture, the format of the Seminar will depend heavily upon active student participation, including a mock arbitration exercise. Students will be graded based upon the quality of their preparation for and participation in the Seminar, as well as the quality of a final paper (6000-7500 words). This Seminar will satisfy part of the lesser of the school's two writing requirements, if substantial research and written work is completed.
Students may access the 6th edition of Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration via: https://www-kluwerarbitration-com.proxy.uchicago.edu/book-toc?title=Red…).
The required textbook for the class is the 7th edition. The ebook version of the 7th edition will be released by the publisher on Oct. 12. The hard copy will be released on Oct. 27.
- Autumn 2022: Javier Rubinstein
- Autumn 2021: Javier Rubinstein
- Winter 2021: Javier Rubinstein
- Autumn 2019: Javier Rubenstein
- Autumn 2018: Javier Rubinstein
- Autumn 2017: Javier Rubinstein
This class is only open to LLM students, MLS students, and PhD students from elsewhere in the university. This course will consider a variety of legal institutions and how they interact to produce a distinctly American configuration of law. Since Tocqueville, observers have noted that Americans have a distinctly legal mode of organizing society: as he put it "Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question." More than citizens of other advanced democracies, they seem willing to turn to courts to resolve disputes, from those about mundane traffic accidents to major disputes of politics and public policy, and to emphasize punitive legal sanctions. The causes and consequences of this litigiousness will be explored through the lens of legal institutions. The course will begin with an introduction to the constitutional structure and then proceed to examine particular legal institutions. Subjects will include the civil and criminal jury, the role of lawyers, the political role of the judiciary, and legalistic modes of administrative regulation. The emphasis will be on how the institutions actually operate, and readings will be drawn from both legal and social scientific literature. Students may take a final exam or choose to write a major paper (20-25 pages).
- Autumn 2021: Tom Ginsburg
- Winter 2021: Tom Ginsburg
This course covers the law governing labor-management relations in the private sector of the U. S. economy. Subjects that will be addressed include the historical background and coverage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Labor-Management Relations Act (LMRA), the organization of and procedures before the National Labor Relations Board, the rights and protections created by Section 7 of the NLRA, unlawful employer and union interference with such rights and the remedies available for such unlawful conduct, the procedures for the selection of union representation, the collective bargaining process and the obligation to bargain in good faith, the enforcement of collective bargaining agreements, the regulation of strikes and other concerted union activities, the union's duty of fair representation, the preemption of state laws and state law-based claims by the NLRA and the LMRA, and current proposals for legislative change. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a final examination.
- Autumn 2021: James Whitehead
- Spring 2021: James Whitehead
- Spring 2020: James Whitehead
- Winter 2019: Laura Weinrib
Why do some nations perform better than others, whether measured by income, happiness, health, environmental quality, educational quality, freedom, etc.? What can be done to help the world's poor? We explore the proximate causes of inequality across countries, including the role of human capital, natural resources, technology and market organization. We also explore the root causes of long-term differences in wealth, including the role of geography (e.g., location in tropical areas) and technological development (e.g., the impact of plow agriculture). We spend a substantial amount of time on the role of institutions, broadly defined, on development. We will explore the value of democracy, the common law, and state capacity generally. We will study the impact of disruptions such as the slave trade, colonialism and war. Ultimately, we will try to understand the implications of each explanation for development policy. Importantly, we will also consider how the lessons law and economics offers for countries with weak state capacity and limited rule of law differ dramatically from those it offers for countries such as the US. A major paper (20-25 pages) is required. Students will be required to complete a review and critical analysis of the literature on a specific topic in development. The topic must be approved by the professor. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Autumn 2021: Anup Malani
- Winter 2021: Anup Malani
This course examines the intersection of law and public policy and the lawyer's role in helping to formulate and defend public policy choices, using recent, real-world problems based, in part, on the instructor's experience as former Corporation Counsel and senior legal advisor to the Mayor of the City of Chicago. While the course will be conducted in a seminar/discussion format, a significant portion of each class will be devoted to hands-on role-playing in which students will play the role of legal advisors to an elected official, grappling with and proposing solutions to vexing issues of public policy.
While this course may be of particular interest to students who are interested in public service and public policy-making, its emphasis on developing students' analytical and problem-solving skills and on providing hands-on, practical experience in advising clients on complex issues should be of benefit to any student, regardless of interests and career objectives. Providing legal analysis and advice and counseling clients are a critical part of almost every legal career, whether as a litigator or transactional lawyer in a private firm or as in-house counsel for a corporation or not-for-profit.
Assigned reading will include press articles, proposed legislation, briefs and pleadings, and other materials concerning the case studies/public policy issues that will be examined. Students will be expected to identify and analyze legal issues, competing legal and policy interests, and possible policy alternatives, and advise their "client" accordingly. Grades will be based on class participation and performance in role-playing exercises and short (5 page) reaction papers concerning three of the case studies that will be examined.
- Autumn 2022: Stephen R Patton
- Autumn 2021: Stephen R Patton
- Autumn 2020: Stephen R Patton
- Autumn 2019: Stephen R. Patton
- Autumn 2018: Stephen R. Patton
This course addresses the powers and responsibilities of local governments. We will consider the law surrounding the services that local governments provide, including who pays for them and who receives them. We will examine how federal and state law shapes local authority. We will explore the interplay among local governments (such as cities and their suburbs), and the relationships between local governments and the people who live within (and beyond) their boundaries. We will also confront questions about the appropriate role of localism, the potential for localities to exacerbate or redress social inequities, and the political processes that generate local decisions. Grading is based on a final examination; participation may be taken into account as indicated on the syllabus.
- Autumn 2022: Lee Fennell
- Autumn 2021: Julie Roin
- Spring 2020: Julie Roin
- Spring 2018: Julie Roin
The basic law relating to the exploration, production, and development of oil and gas. The principal topics covered are: (1) ownership interests in natural resources, (2) leasing and field development, (3) the classification and transfer of production interests, and (4) regulation of field operation -- pooling, unitization, and environmental controls. Taxation and post-production marketing controls are not covered. This class has a final exam.
- Winter 2023: Richard Helmholz
This class evaluates the many changes to the legal landscape that the current pandemic has forged. We will explore the legal impacts of prior pandemics, as they were evidenced through case law and laws existing prior to the current pandemic. We will examine developments in different areas of the law, including commercial contracts, employment, privacy, and regulatory compliance. As to commercial contracts, we will consider the applicability and enforceability of force majeure clauses. With respect to employment and privacy, we will review the effect of the pandemic on the traditional notion of the workplace and the resulting legal implications of the work from home or remote work phenomenon. We will also consider the employment and privacy implications of vaccine mandates and testing requirements. We will explore the regulatory compliance changes arising out of the pandemic, including anti-price gouging laws and antitrust measures. We will consider what gaps remain in the legal landscape in light of the pandemic and which changes should remain after this pandemic has concluded. This class requires a major paper (6000-7500 words). Participation may be considered in final grading. The instructor's name for the course is Elizabeth Sheyn Brown.
- Autumn 2022: Elizabeth Sheyn
This clinic is a multi-quarter clinic spanning over winter and spring quarters. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond concludes that evictions are not a symptom of poverty. They are a direct cause. In the Poverty and Housing Law Clinic, you will learn how to defend low-income tenants (many of whom have disabilities or young children, or are victims of domestic violence) against unwarranted evictions. Many of these tenants live within just a few miles of The Law School. You will attend weekly lectures about subsidized housing programs, eviction actions, trial practice, housing discrimination, the intersection between domestic violence and housing, and the extensive and often misunderstood connection between criminal law and subsidized housing. Most important, you will work twelve hours a week in the Housing Practice Group at Legal Aid Chicago, the Midwest's largest provider of free civil legal services to the poor. Every year more than 30,000 people call Legal Aid Chicago seeking our assistance. And every year the Housing Practice Group represents hundreds of tenants facing eviction from the only housing they can afford. We also help clients preserve their tenant-based rental assistance, gain admission to subsidized housing developments, force landlords to make necessary repairs, and challenge illegal discrimination.
- Winter 2023: Dennericka Brooks
- Spring 2023: Dennericka Brooks
- Spring 2022: Lawrence Wood
- Winter 2022: Lawrence Wood
- Spring 2021: Lawrence Wood
This course focuses on the relationship between modern perspectives on voting and interest groups on the one hand and legislation and judicial interventions on the other. Public choice is essentially the science of group decision-making, and it comes with several well developed tools of analysis, including the difference between aggregating preferences and looking for right answers to questions. With these tools, and that perspective, we revisit the interactions between legislatures and judges, democracy's attempt to solve certain problems, and the roles played by a variety of legal doctrines and constitutional institutions. It is also an opportunity to think about everyday group decisions in law firms and other settings where this is group hiring, cost sharing, and so forth. As the course proceeds, we explore specific topics in law, such as the possibility of judicial vote-trading, the role of referenda in some jurisdictions but not others, and the role of precedent itself. Grades will be based on a final examination.
- Spring 2023: Saul Levmore
- Spring 2022: Saul Levmore
- Winter 2021: Saul Levmore
International law is the system of rules, principles and procedures that regulate activity at the inter-state level. The system plays a critical role in contemporary life, effecting issues of war and peace, the global economy, human rights, and the natural environment. International law is a complete system of law, distinctive from national legal systems. The main objective of the course is to provide a comprehensive overview of the system by introducing how international law is made, applied, and enforced. The course will also introduce the four major subfields. Additional objectives include:
• Learning about the nature and purpose of international law by comparing international law to other legal systems and by reviewing various theories of law;
• Understanding the relationship between the general principles and processes that characterize the system as a whole and the subfields of war/peace, economy, human rights, and environment;
• Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the systems as well as creatively considering how to enhance the effectiveness of the international legal system; and
• Preparing for the practice of international law.
This seminar will have a final exam. Participation may considered in the final grading.
The required textbook for the class is the 8th edition of "The International Legal System," by O'Connell which will be released in early October. The instructor will supply readings from the 7th edition until the 8th edition is available.
- Autumn 2022: Mary OConnell
- Autumn 2021: Tom Ginsburg
- Autumn 2020: Tom Ginsburg
- Autumn 2019: Eric A. Posner
- Autumn 2018: Eric A. Posner
- Autumn 2018: Mary Ellen O'Connell
- Autumn 2017: James Gathii
This course will explore the role that race has played in the construction of United States law, and the role that United States law has played in the construction of race. It will survey the law across time and several substantive legal areas to excavate how the law's shifting treatment of race has both shaped and been shaped by what we understand race to be.
This course will have a final exam. Participation may be considered in the final grading.
- Winter 2023: Adam Davidson
This course will consider the regulation of banks and non-bank financial institutions in the United States. Topics will include: the business of banking; prudential regulation; the lender of last resort and resolution mechanisms; the regulation of securities firms; mutual funds and other asset managers; shadow banking; the regulation of derivatives; and the role and regulation of cryptocurrencies and other emerging financial technologies within the financial system. There are no prerequisites for this course.
This course will have a final exam. Students who took Financial Regulation Law may not also take this course.
- Spring 2023: Adriana Robertson
This course explores legal and policy issues in the federal regulation of drugs, medical devices, biologics, and cosmetics. It will examine substantive standards applicable to these products and procedural issues in the enforcement of these standards. It will also address the tension between state and federal regulation in this area, constitutional constraints on such regulation, the conflict between state tort law and federal regulation, and a variety of other issues relating to the development and marketing of regulated products. These issues are particularly timely and important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The student's grade is based on class participation and a final examination or major paper.
- Spring 2023: Jack Bierig
- Spring 2022: Jack Bierig
This course explores the many ways in which the legal system regulates sexuality, sexual identity, and gender and considers such regulation in a number of substantive areas as well as the limits on placed on such regulation by constitutional guarantees including free speech, equal protection, and due process. Readings include cases and articles from the legal literature together with work by scholars in other fields. . The grade is based on a substantial paper (6000-7500 words) or a series of short papers, with class participation taken into account.
- Spring 2023: Mary Ann Case
- Spring 2022: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2021: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2020: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2019: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2018: Mary Anne Case
All 50 States and the District of Columbia have an Attorney General, each of whom enjoys broad discretion over a range of legal issues. This seminar will address the institutional role of these officials, including their status within their respective state systems and their relationship to the federal government. The course will also address a host of critical and often controversial areas-including civil rights, criminal justice, consumer fraud, and environmental regulation-where state Attorneys General have come to play a leading role on the local and national stage. Students will be graded based on class participation and a final paper (6000-7500 words).
- Spring 2023: Lisa Madigan and Michael Scodro
- Spring 2022: Lisa Madigan and Michael Scodro
- Spring 2021: Lisa Madigan and Michael Scodro
- Spring 2020: Michael Scodro and Lisa Madigan
This seminar looks at a variety of fiscal challenges facing state and local governments, and at the legal constraints on politically attractive solutions to these challenges. In past years, topics have included educational funding, pension funding, "welcome stranger" property tax assessment, eminent domain, and municipal bankruptcy. Final grade will be based on a series of short reaction papers and class participation.
- Spring 2023: Julie Roin
- Spring 2022: Julie Roin
- Winter 2021: Julie Roin
This course will expose students to common law and administrative approaches for addressing actual and potential public health and environmental harms from toxic substances. The course will begin by examining concepts of risk assessment and risk management. Next, the course will look at common law approaches, including theories of liability, causation, admissibility of evidence, proximate cause, damages, and defenses. The course will then review in-depth federal laws to address these issues, such as statutes that cover solid and hazardous waste (RCRA and CERCLA (Superfund)) and potentially toxic products (FIFRA, TSCA). Throughout the course, students will learn about how individuals and groups, including low-income and people-of-color communities, have sought redress for the toxic exposures they have faced. The course is a complement to Professor Kim's Environmental Law: Air, Water, and Animals course; neither is a prerequisite for the other, and the two share little overlap.
Participation may be considered in final grading. This class requires a series of research papers (6000-7500 words).
- Winter 2023: Mark N. Templeton
- Winter 2022: Mark N. Templeton
- Winter 2021: Mark N. Templeton
This course provides a survey of the US tax treatment of both inbound (foreign investment in the US) and outbound (US investment abroad) transactions. Though the principal focus of the class is on the US tax rules, some attention is paid to the interaction between US and foreign tax systems through the operation of the tax credit and tax treaties. Introductory Income Tax is a recommended prerequisite, but not required. Students' grades will be based on a three-hour examination.
- Winter 2023: Julie Roin
- Spring 2022: Julie Roin
- Winter 2021: Julie Roin
- Winter 2020: Julie Roin
- Winter 2019: Julie Roin
- Winter 2018: Julie Roin