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 2019-20 and 2020-21 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.

Abrams Environmental Law Clinic

Students in the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic promote clean energy, fight against water pollution, protect natural resources and human health, and address legacy contamination. Students learn practical legal skills, such as conducting factual investigations, interviewing witnesses and preparing affidavits, reviewing administrative determinations, drafting motions, working with experts, arguing motions and presenting at trial or an administrative hearing. The Clinic represents regional and national environmental organizations and individuals and often works with co-counsel. In addition to litigation, the Clinic may also engage in legislative reform and rule-making efforts; students interested solely in that kind of work should notify the instructor before joining the Clinic. While the course does not have any pre-requisites, students are strongly encouraged to take Environmental Law, Energy Law, and/or Administrative Law courses at some point during their time in the clinic.  A student enrolling in the Clinic for the first time should sign up for two credits; in subsequent quarters, the student may enroll for one, two or three credits per quarter after consultation with clinic faculty. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2021, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Autumn 2020, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Spring 2020, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2020, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Autumn 2019, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2019, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Autumn 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Spring 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Autumn 2017, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock

Administrative Law

This course examines the structure of the administrative state, its relations to the other branches of government and private citizens, and the constitutional, statutory, and common law rules that govern the substance and procedure of administration action and inaction. A central theme is how the law manages the tension between rule of law values (e.g., procedural regularity, accountability, and substantive limits on arbitrary action) and the desire for flexible, effective administrative governance. In particular, the course focuses on constitutional topics, including the non-delegation doctrine, presidential control over administrative agencies, and the delegation of adjudicative authority to non-Article III officers. Substantial attention is also given to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and other statutory requirements for lawful agency action. Other covered topics include the proper role of agencies in interpreting statutory and regulatory law; judicial review of agency decisions; and public participation in agency rule making. The student's grade is based on class participation and a final  in-class examination.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, David A. Strauss
  • Spring 2019, Jennifer H. Nou
  • Spring 2018, Jennifer H. Nou
  • Autumn 2017, Nicholas Stephanopoulos

Advanced Topics in Antitrust

This seminar will discuss recent controversies in antitrust law, including tech platforms, common ownership, labor monopsony, and the recent debate over the goals of antitrust law. Readings will be a mix of cases and academic work. A series of reaction papers is required to earn 2 credits. Students who wish to earn 3 credits will be required to write a research paper. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Eric A. Posner

American Indian Tribal Law

Most of American legal education focuses on federal, state, and local government laws. Yet, there are 574 tribal governments in the United States that receive precious little attention from legal academia and American society broadly. Why do we generally ignore or exclude the laws of American Indian tribes from the mainstream study and conception of of "American law"? When we take the time to look at tribal law, what might we learn? These questions will guide this seminar as we examine the complex history of tribal law in America and the current state of American Indian tribal law. A series of short research papers on different topics in tribal law will be required (20-25 pages.)

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Elizabeth Anne Reese

Antitrust and Intellectual Property

This seminar will explore various issues at the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property. Whereas antitrust aims to protect competition, intellectual property aims to reward invention by conferring rights to exclude. Since passage of the Sherman Act, United States antitrust law has varied in its treatment of intellectual property. It has been at times hospitable and at other times inhospitable. Drawing the appropriate line between unreasonable restraints of trade and legitimate exercises of intellectual property rights is a difficult task. But it is essential for technological progress and economic growth.

Readings will consist of cases and scholarship. Topics will range from early disagreements over the relationship between antitrust and intellectual property to modern disputes, such as those involving generic drugs and the Federal Trade Commission's case against Qualcomm. Students will participate in class discussion and write short response papers.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Spencer Smith

Bankruptcy and Reorganization: The Federal Bankruptcy Code

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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Douglas Baird
  • Winter 2020, Douglas Baird
  • Autumn 2018, Douglas Baird

Civil Rights Litigation

This course focuses on section 1983 of the United States Code, a Reconstruction-era statute that enables private parties to sue any other person who "under color" of law deprives them of the "rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States.  Class participants will become familiar with the theoretical, procedural, and practical aspects of civil rights litigation, including constitutional and statutory claims, defenses and immunities, and available remedies, including attorney fees.   Related U.S. Code provisions concerning discrimination in housing, contractual relations, employment, and voting are examined where relevant.  Evaluation will be by exam, written exercise, and class participation. There will be a 3 hour in-class exam.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2019, Darrell Miller

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States, 1865-Present

This class examines the history of the African American Freedom Struggle  in the United States from emancipation to the present.  Although the course will move chronologically, our emphasis will be thematic, covering such topics as voting rights and political participation, sex and marriage rights, criminal justice reform, the role of courts, and the relationship between law and social movements. A series of research papers will be required for this class (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Jane Dailey

Civil Rights Practicum

In this practicum, students will engage in a range of research and analysis under the supervision of Prof. Huq, in relation to a number of active civil rights cases or other matters. Initial projects will include work on hate-crimes regulation. The aim is to cultivate experience in litigation and advocacy-related tasks in a real world setting, albeit without the structured format of a clinic. Students will be evaluated based on written work, collaboration, and analysis. Questions should be directed to Prof. Huq.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2021, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2019, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2019, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq

The Colossus Conundrum

We will consider the many issues created by the rise of a handful of colossal and important firms -- Google. Facebook/Instagram, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft (and perhaps a few others). Are some (or all) of these firms "monopolists" as that term is used in Antitrust? If so, what follows? Since I planned to teach this seminar, almost a year ago, governments world wide (including the US antitrust enforcement agencies and various states) have begun to review these firms and their practices. Many antitrust agencies have now opened formal investigations. There is a growing public outcry for the break up these firms or, alternatively and additionally,  for regulating their practices and permitted activities. For the first time in a generation there is public interest in direct regulation. 

Are these firms monopolists? Are they a new type of monopoly that calls forth a new form of antitrust thinking? Is divesture the solution?  Are activity restrictions needed? Do they require direct regulation by government in the way firms once were pervasively regulated in the last century? How does the history of regulation of  telephony in the US for example leading to the divesture of AT&T in the 1980s inform this debate? The seminar will provide a framework for considering these matters.  The questions are complex and changing rapidly.Our goal is to begin to think about problems that will be at the forefront of legal and regulatory attention for many years to come. Antitrust is a recommended prerequisite, but not required. Grades will be based on substantial written work (20-25 pages).

Previously:

  • Autumn 2019, Andrew M. Rosenfield

Comparative Legal Institutions

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. There is an option to write a research paper 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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Spring 2019, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg

Compliance and Regulatory Strategy  

Companies and individuals face potentially draconian global regulatory exposure based upon increasingly strict expectations that companies have state of the art governance, risk and compliance programs.  For companies, these sanctions can at best result in plummeting share prices, and at worst the shutting down of an enterprise.  For individuals, they can result in incarceration, fines, penalties and removal from the business.  Plus, the emergence of new technologies creates further compliance challenges.  By placing students in the context of a corporate executive, board member or counsel, students will learn the fundamental principles and tools to prepare them to both design compliance programs and engage with regulators to mitigate these risks.   While many of these principles apply to all industries, we will explore these issues primarily through the lens of the financial services sector, which includes banks, brokerage firms, investment companies and investment advisers.  Students will also learn the fundamentals of regulatory regimes overseeing these businesses, as well as strategies for successfully engaging the regulators.  We will explore how the design and execution of these programs can avoid or limit potential liabilities from regulatory and criminal authorities, as well as how a firm can enhance its brand, meet the expectations of its board of directors and create value for its shareholders. The grade is based on a series of short reaction papers, attendance and class participation.  While courses which contain elements of securities or financial services regulation would be helpful, they are not required. However, the course should be limited to students who have completed their first year, whether in the Law School, the Booth School of Business or other graduate level programs at the university.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Charles Vincent Senatore
  • Spring 2020, Charles Vincent Senatore

Constitutional Law VII: Parent, Child, and State

This course considers 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 my be written (20-25 pages).

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Emily Buss
  • Spring 2019, Emily Buss
  • Spring 2018, Emily Buss

Corporate Compliance and Business Integration

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: 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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Forrest James Deegan
  • Autumn 2019, Forrest James Deegan
  • Autumn 2018, Forrest James Deegan

Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

This seminar covers a series of current issues in criminal and national security law, often comparing and contrasting the two approaches, with a focus on war power and uses of military force, drone strikes, challenges arising from acts of terrorism and national security prosecutions (including a focus on substantive terrorism offenses, espionage offenses as well as the leaking of classified information), a discussion of criminal investigative tools and intelligence activities, application of constitutional principles to terrorism investigations and prosecutions (particularly the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the application of Miranda, Quarles and Corley decisions and certain state bar rules in that context), and in other select topics, including the Classified Information Procedures Act, economic sanctions, and national security leaks. 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 (20-25 pages, including a majority and dissent) on a select issue in criminal and national security law. Participation may be considered in final grading. Guest speakers may be invited to help facilitate discussion on certain topics. Criminal law is prerequisite.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
  • Winter 2020, Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
  • Winter 2019, Patrick J. Fitzgerald

Derivatives in the Post-Crisis Marketplace

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 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 (20-25 pages) on a topic of the student's choice as well as class participation.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Jaime A. Madell
  • Autumn 2019, Jaime A. Madell

Education Law & Policy

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. 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 of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Susan Rochelle Epstein

Election Law

In this course, we will discuss the basic themes surrounding the legal regulation of elections, politics, and the political process as a whole.  We will cover all the major Supreme Court cases (and a few important lower court decisions) on the topics of voting rights, reapportionment/redistricting, ballot access, regulation of political parties, and the 2000 presidential election controversy.  We will also discuss competing political philosophies; alternatives to the two-party system; and the role of the courts, the legislature, and direct democracy in our system.  By the end of the course, the goal is that you will have a basic understanding of the structure, mechanics, and history of the political process in this country, but with an appreciation for the complexities of the right to vote and the difficulties involved in regulating the behavior of political actors. This course has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Franita Smith
  • Autumn 2019, Nicholas Stephanopolous
  • Spring 2019, Nicholas Stephanopolous

Employee Benefits Law

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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Charles Benno Wolf
  • Autumn 2019, Charles Benno Wolf and Philip Luther Mowery
  • Spring 2019, Charles Benno Wolf and Philip Luther Mowery
  • Autumn 2018, Charles Benno Wolf and Philip Luther Mowery

Employment Law

This seminar is designed to provide the student with an overview of the common law principles and several of the leading federal and state statutes that govern the private-sector employment relationship. Among the topics to be covered are (1) the contractual nature of the employment relationship and the employment-at-will doctrine; (2) contractual, tort-based, and statutory erosions of the employment-at-will doctrine; (3) the contractual and common law duties and obligations owed by an employee to the employer; and (4) wage and hour and employee leave statutes, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This seminar supplements, but will not cover the topics presented in, the Law School's courses in Labor Law (Laws 43101), Employment Discrimination Law (Laws 43401), and Employee Benefits Law (Laws 55503), which are not prerequisites to enrollment. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students. The student's grade will be based on a final take-home examination. Students wishing to earn 3 credits for the class may write a 10-12+ page research paper in addition to the final exam.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, James Whitehead
  • Autumn 2019, James Whitehead
  • Autumn 2018, James Whitehead

Employment Law Clinic

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 before the Illinois Department of Human Rights and 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, in 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. Students will be evaluated on their written and oral work on behalf of the Clinic's clients. Participation may be considered in final grading. 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.

Previously:

  • 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 Law

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. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Joshua C. Macey

Energy Transactions Seminar

The Energy Transactions Seminar exposes students to current issues facing energy industry practitioners. Topics covered include United States shale developments, international energy projects, facilities procurement/construction, the natural resources curse, energy finance challenges, and energy litigation/arbitration trends. The Energy Law Seminar also includes two competitive simulations: (1) shale/private equity simulation in which students are divided into management and private equity backers and seek to negotiate joint ventures; and (2) West Africa exploration simulation, in which teams bid on real 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 grade is based on in-class participation (including presentations and simulation performance), negotiation sessions between class meetings, written agreements/memoranda, and a final essay (in the form of a blog post). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Shelby Scott Gaille
  • Autumn 2018, Shelby Scott Gaille (as Energy Law Seminar)

Environmental Law: Air, Water, and Animals

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. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Hajin Kim

Environmental Transactions and Bankruptcy

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. A series of reaction papers is required for this class. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Tobias D. Chun and Jeanne Terry Cohn

Fair Housing

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, the siting of locally undesirable land uses, and the use of eminent domain. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a final exam.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Lee Fennell

The Federal Courts and the Federal System

This course will consider the role of the federal courts in the U.S. federal system. We will cover, among other things, Congressional control of the jurisdiction of the federal courts; the federal question jurisdiction of the federal courts; issues arising out of the relationship between state and federal courts; and the sources of, and limits on, actions against state and federal governments and their officials. Constitutional Law I is a co-requisite (that is, students must have taken Constitutional Law I or be taking it at the same time as this course). Grades will be based on a take-home final exam.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, David A. Strauss

Financial Regulation Law

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 a final take-home examination.

*Depending on the enrollment outcome, this course may qualify to be all in person.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Eric A. Posner

Food and Drug Law and Policy

This course explores legal and policy issues in the federal regulation of foods, drugs, medical devices, and other products coming within the jurisdiction of the FDA. 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. The student's grade is based on class participation and an in-class final examination or major paper of 20-25 pages.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Jack R. Bierig
  • Spring 2019, Jack R. Bierig

Food Law

This seminar will examine issues relating to food law and food policy. Topic covered will include: food safety, food labeling, genetically modified agriculture, corn policy, regulation of food quality, factory farming, restaurant regulations, and more. Students will have to write a paper and make a presentation in class. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Omri Ben-Shahar
  • Spring 2020, Omri Ben-Shahar and Emilie Aguirre
  • Spring 2019, Omri Ben-Shahar

Global Human Rights Clinic

The Global Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice around the world and in the United States. The Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms, transnational and comparative law, and multidimensional strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. The Clinic works with clients and organizational partners through advocacy campaigns, research and litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals. Working in project teams, students develop and hone essential lawyering skills, including oral advocacy, fact-finding, research, legal and non-legal writing, interviewing, media advocacy, cultural competency and strategic thinking. Students may enroll for up to three credits a quarter. New students should plan to take the clinic for three quarters for a minimum of two credits each quarter, unless they have faculty permission prior to registration. Participation may be considered in final grading. Prerequisites: International Human Rights Law (recommended but not required); Public International Law (recommended but not required) *This clinic will have limited in person meetings.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Claudia Maria Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
  • Winter 2021, Claudia Maria Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat
  • Autumn 2020, Claudia Maria Flores and Mariana Olaizola Rosenblat

Government Integrity and Transparency Seminar

The new Seminar on Government Integrity and Transparency will provide students with an opportunity to learn about the legal systems that promote government integrity and transparency through participation in a seminar and a field placement in a government oversight agency or entity.

The goal of this new course offering is to familiarize students with the legal rules, policies, and procedures for ensuring the proper, transparent functioning of governmental operations. The seminar will provide students with exposure to substantive and procedural law, criminal and administrative law, ethics, litigation preparation and practice (through participation in classroom exercises built around a single public corruption matter), and hands-on experience through a field placement.

Each student in the seminar will be responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened field placement program with a governmental entity with oversight and transparency responsibilities during the Spring Quarter 2021.

Through a working case study, students will have an opportunity to build investigative and reasoning skills. This class requires weekly written assignments. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Sharon Renee Fairley
  • Spring 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley

Greenberg Seminar: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the Urban Drug War

We will explore a series of works on crime, politics, policing, and race, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore: David Simon, "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," Sudhir Venkatesh, "Gang Leader for a Day," Jill Loevy, "Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America," and all of "The Wire." We will focus particularly on the drug war - the economics and violence of the trade; the culture of the police bureaucracy; alternative law enforcement strategies such as informants and wiretapping; the politics of race, crime rates, and legalization; and the effects of addiction. But these works also examine the effects of declining blue collar jobs and weakening labor unions; the effects of race, incumbency, and corruption on local politics; the challenges and failures of education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail. Spring meetings will be held on April 8 and May 6 from 7:00-9:00 PM.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
  • Winter 2021, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
  • Autumn 2020, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams

Hacking for Defense

H4D is an opportunity to work with teams at the Defense Department and the various intelligence agencies (e.g., NSA, CIA) to solve real world operational problems. Started at Stanford, this program is now offered at several universities across the country. DoD chose Chicago as a new midwest site. Students will form teams with students in other departments, and teams will be assigned to/choose a project to work on. The learning will be through a flipped classroom--the lecture content is in the form of videos done by the program sponsors at Stanford and the DoD. (They are very good.) Then, we will meet as a class to discuss the materials and work together in our teams. Students will be paired with a program sponsor from the government, and work toward a solution that can be deployed. Time will be spent doing interviews, field visits, and problem solving with your team. This will require far more work than the typical law school course, but it will be much more interesting and have real world impact. There is the possibility of forming a business venture and entering the New Venture Challenge with the team. Previous ideas that have come out of H4D have helped the SEALS improve their training, the Army increase the efficiency of its supply chain, and the Navy develop a better communications device for sub-surface warfare. Check out some of the team videos online for examples. This seminar has extra time built into the meetings, but not all sessions will cover that entire time. Ultimately the class time will be the equivalent of two hours each week. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, M. Todd Henderson and Thomas William Gossin-Wilson

Hopi/Alaska Law Practicum

The Hopi Clerkship is a year-long opportunity for students to get first-hand experience with the complex challenges and unique opportunities present in the everyday work of contemporary tribal legal systems. Students will support the Hopi tribe in three distinct ways: (1) serving as law clerks to justices of the Hopi Appellate Court, doing legal research, writing bench memoranda, participating in conferences, and drafting opinions on live cases; (2) serving as law clerks to the criminal trial court judge, especially on matters related to the application of federal Fourth Amendment law to tribal police; and (3) serving as legal advisors to the Office of Cultural Preservation, working to support investigations and prosecution of Hopi cultural claims around the world in an attempt to return tribal patrimony. Students will do all their coursework and assigned casework at the University of Chicago with site visits to the respective Hopi legal institutions to attend oral arguments, present findings to Hopi tribal officials, and participate in judicial deliberations.  Co-requisite: American Indian Law

Previously:

  • 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

Immigrants' Rights Clinic

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, 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, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations. 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. Students must enroll for either 2 or 3 credits each quarter and must enroll for all three quarters.  Instructor note: while many clinic activities can be conducted remotely, there may be some fieldwork activities, such as client interviews and court hearings, that must be conducted in-person. Students who will not be geographically located in Chicago for some or all of the year should speak with Professor Hallett before bidding. Students with questions may contact Professor Hallett at nhallett@uchicago.edu to learn more. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Students will be evaluated on the fieldwork portion of course on the basis of whether they:

  • Fulfill professional obligations to clients
  • Work diligently and zealously towards accomplishing the clients' goals
  • Collaborate with team members and supervisor effectively
  • Show willingness to learn new skills and confront new legal problems
  • Show improvement in legal writing, oral advocacy, and other lawyering skills
  • Willingly incorporate feedback into your work
  • Use reflection to learn from clinic experiences
  • Display responsibility, collegiality, and professionalism
  • Meet internal and external deadlines
  • Attend class prepared to discuss readings and regularly participate in classroom discussions
  • Practice excellent file management and time-keeping

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Winter 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Autumn 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Spring 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Winter 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett

Immigration Law

This course explores the U.S. immigration system. The course 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, the law of asylum, the role of the states in regulating migrants, 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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Spring 2020, Adam S. Chilton
  • Autumn 2018, Allison Tirres
  • Spring 2018, Adam S. Chilton

International Arbitration

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 required paper (20-25 pages). This Seminar will satisfy part of the lesser of the school's two writing requirements, if substantial research and written work is completed.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Javier Rubenstein
  • Autumn 2019, Javier Rubenstein
  • Autumn 2018, Javier Rubinstein
  • Autumn 2017, Javier Rubinstein

Introduction to American Law and Legal Institutions

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. This class will have a final exam. This class is only open to LLM students and is required for LLM students to take.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Thomas Ginsburg

Investment Funds

This seminar examines the regulatory, economic, and political issues surrounding the use of pooled investment vehicles, particularly hedge funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and sovereign wealth funds. We will discuss the legal and business considerations that go into the formation of funds, paying close attention to the negotiations between investment advisers and the investors in their funds. Then we will examine the portfolio investment strategies of different investment funds, such as the use of leveraged buyouts, equity investments, and more sophisticated trading in derivatives. We will develop a familiarity with the Investment Advisers Act and the Investment Company Act, which are the key legal regulations governing these funds, as well as with the most current scholarly debates in this field. A final paper of 20-25 pages is required.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, William Anthony Birdthistle

Labor Law

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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, James Whitehead
  • Spring 2020, James Whitehead
  • Winter 2019, Laura Weinrib

Labor Law in the Gig, Fissured, and Automated Economy

This course will consider how labor relations are regulated-and how they should be regulated-in the increasingly gig, fissured, and automated economy. We will consider who qualifies as an "employee" and an "employer"; what happens to the growing number of workers and firms that fall outside these categories or along their hotly contested boundaries; what new forms of worker organizing are emerging and how law constrains or facilitates these new organizing efforts; and what possible law reforms are warranted. This is a short class that will meet on April 28,29, and 30 and May 5 and 6. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Kate Andrias
  • Spring 2020, James Whitehead

Land Use

Few areas of law have as immediate an impact on our lived environment than the law of land use. This course will provide a broad introduction to the theory, doctrine, and history of land use regulation. Topics will include zoning, homeowners' associations, nuisance, suburban sprawl, eminent domain and regulatory takings. Throughout, we will discuss the ways land use regulation affects land use patterns, economic efficiency, distributive justice, social relations, and the environment. The grade is based on a final in-class examination.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Richard A. Epstein

Law and Economic Development

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. This class begins the week of January 4.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Anup Malani
  • Spring 2020, Anup Malani
  • Spring 2019, Anup Malani
  • Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg and Anup Malani

Law and Public Policy:  Case Studies in Problem Solving

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 on the instructor's experience as Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and senior legal advisor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  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 on available options 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 and limits, 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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Stephen R. Patton
  • Autumn 2019, Stephen R. Patton
  • Autumn 2018, Stephen R. Patton

Local Government Law

This course examines the law regarding the provision of public goods and services at the state and local level. It explores the way in which local government law addresses the issues of what services a local government should provide, which residents should receive those services, who pays for the services provided, and how these decisions are reached. In the process, it explores the relationship among federal, state, and local governments, with particular emphasis on judicial analysis of the constitutional and statutory basis of those relationships.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Julie Roin
  • Spring 2018, Julie Roin

Oil and Gas Law

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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Richard H. Helmholz

Poverty and Housing Law Clinic

This clinic, conducted over two sequential quarters, exposes students to the practice of poverty law by giving them the opportunity to work on housing cases at Legal Aid Chicago, the Midwest's largest provider of free civil legal services to people who are living in poverty or otherwise vulnerable. Students may be be asked to attend administrative grievance hearings, represent tenants facing unwarranted evictions, and prevent landlords from performing lockouts or refusing to make necessary repairs. All students will be expected to interview clients, prepare written discovery, conduct research, and draft motions. In addition to working 12 hours a week at LAF, students will attend a weekly two-hour class to learn about subsidized housing programs, eviction actions, housing discrimination, representing tenants with disabilities, the intersection between domestic violence and housing, and the extensive and often misunderstood connection between criminal law and housing. A 10 page paper is required. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Lawrence Wood
  • Winter 2021, Lawrence Wood
  • Spring 2020, Lawrence Wood
  • Winter 2020, Lawrence Wood
  • Spring 2019, Lawrence Wood
  • Winter 2019, Lawrence Wood

Public Choice

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. 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. 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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Saul Levmore
  • Winter 2020, Saul Levmore
  • Winter 2019, Saul Levmore
  • Spring 2018, Saul Levmore

Public International Law

This course is an introduction to public international law, which is the body of law that nation states have jointly created for the purpose of governing their relations. The course focuses on the sources of international law, international institutions such as the United Nations, international adjudication, and various substantive fields of international law, such as the use of force, human rights, the treatment of aliens, and international environmental law. Grades will be based on a take-home examination, with marginal bonus for participation. A paper option is allowed for students who wish to write an SRP.

*Depending on the enrollment outcome, this course may qualify to be all in person.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Autumn 2019, Eric Andrew Posner
  • Autumn 2018, Eric Andrew Posner
  • Autumn 2018, Mary Ellen O'Connell
  • Autumn 2017, James Gathii

Public Land Law

This course introduces the law governing public lands in the United States, including the preservation and the exploitation of the natural resources on those lands. The course deals with the administrative structures and the legal doctrines that have been developed to control use and enjoyment of the public lands. It takes up selected subjects to illustrate how the system works. Among possible subjects for inclusion are: the national parks, timber policy, grazing rights, mining law, protection of wildlife, and wilderness preservation. The choice of subjects to be studied will depend in large part on the interests of the students who enroll. This class has a final take-home examination.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Richard Helmholz
  • Autumn 2018, Richard Helmholz

Public Law in the Time of Trump

Recent events, including President Trump's controversial policies and actions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and nationwide protests over policy brutality, have placed a strain on administrative law and institutions in the United States. In this seminar, invited speakers from other law schools will present scholarship that examines these developments. The seminar serves the dual purpose of introducing students to scholarly approaches to understanding contemporary events, and educating them about the relevant administrative and constitutional rules, particularly those that address crises and fast-changing problems. Students will read academic articles, draft short reaction papers, and be prepared to ask questions of the speaker. The Q&A with each paper's author will be followed by discussion among the students and professors regarding the strengths and shortcomings of the scholarship presented. This seminar will be conducted entirely via Zoom to facilitate the inclusion of invited speakers from other schools.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Jonathan Masur and Eric Andrew Posner

Regulating the Mass Public Sphere

As the events of the last few months have made clear, there are serious problems with how the mass public sphere operates in the United States. Lies, conspiracy theories and disinformation circulate widely. Threats and harassment make it difficult for many (particularly women and minorities) to participate freely. Meanwhile the lowering of barriers to entry has encouraged a fracturing of the public conversation. This seminar will explore the extent to which these problems result from and/or might be solved by, regulation. To do so, it will take a deep dive into the regulatory history of the mass public. The seminar will examine the history of federal postal policy, telegraph common carrier laws, twentieth century radio regulation (including the Fairness Doctrine) and the internet platforms. It will also ask students to critically examine some of the reform proposals that have been suggested to correct the problems with the mass public. Knowledge of First Amendment law is recommended but not required. Grades will be based on class participation and a final research paper.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Genevieve Lakier

Regulation of Sexuality

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 or a series of short papers, with class participation taken into account.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2020, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2019, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case

The Role and Practice of the State Attorney General

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 (20-25 pages).

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Michael Scodro and Lisa Madigan
  • Spring 2020, Michael Scodro and Lisa Madigan

Topics in State and Local Finance

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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Julie Roin
  • Autumn 2019, Julie Roin
  • Winter 2019, Julie Roin
  • Spring 2018, Julie Roin

Toxics, Toxic Torts and Environmental Injustice

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 common law approaches, including theories of liability, causation, admissibility of evidence, proximate cause, damages, defenses, apportionment among multiple parties, and procedural issues.  The course will then look at regulatory approaches to risk assessment and risk management and at specific federal laws to address toxic exposures in the workplace (OSHA), of hazardous waste (RCRA and CERCLA (Superfund)), and of 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. A series of research papers is required (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Mark N. Templeton

U.S. Taxation of International Transactions

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. Students' grades will be based on a three-hour examination.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Julie Roin
  • Winter 2020, Julie Roin
  • Winter 2019, Julie Roin
  • Winter 2018, Julie Roin

USCAAF Student Practitioner

For this project six students will prepare and argue an appellate brief in a real case before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Services. Pursuant to the court's rules, three students will be assigned to argue on behalf of the appellant and three students will be assigned to argue on behalf of the appellee. Under the supervision of Faculty members who will seek to appear Pro Hac Vice in the case, the students will draft a brief that will be filed with the court. One of the three students on each side will be selected to argue the case before the court during a visit to the law school.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Richard McAdams, Erica Kristine Zunkel, Sharon Renee Fairley, Judith P. Miller
  • Winter 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley, Richard McAdams, Judith P Miller, Erica Kristine Zunkel

Voting Rights from Reconstruction to the Roberts Court

This course examines the intersection of race and voting rights. From debates about voter ID laws to legal battles over redistricting, race and voting rights are inextricably intertwined in our society. This course analyzes the development of voting rights over U.S. history, starting with the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments during Reconstruction. Other topics include the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the constitutionality of race-conscious redistricting, and the legal significance of racially polarized voting. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the major issues in voting rights today. Students will be graded based on short reaction papers as well as the quality of their preparation and participation in the seminar. There will not be a final examination. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law is recommended but not required.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Travis Crum