Family Law, Property Rights, Torts, and Insurance Courses

Professor Mary Anne Case

The courses listed below provide a taste of the Family Law, Property Rights, Torts, and Insurance 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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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 an 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.


  • Winter 2023: Mark N. Templeton
  • Spring 2023: Mark N. Templeton
  • Autumn 2022:Mark N. Templeton
  • Spring 2022: Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2022: Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Autumn 2021: Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • 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

American Indian Law

This course will consider the law governing the relation between non-tribal law and tribal law. This is the law of treaties, federal jurisdiction, and sovereignty. The Supreme Court has several cases on tribal issues each year, and with the rise of gaming and natural resources as major sources of wealth, the stakes in these cases for tribe members and non-members is increasing. Last year, the Supreme Court decided a case that suggests half of Oklahoma, including Tulsa, is actually "Indian Country," and subject, in part, to tribal law. The materials for the course will be mostly Supreme Court cases, as well as some historical materials necessary to understand the context of the judicial consideration of tribal jurisdiction. The flavor for this part of the course will be international law, although with a decidedly American approach.

This course will have a final exam. Participation may be considered in the final grading.


  • Spring 2023: M. Todd Henderson
  • Spring 2022: M. Todd Henderson
  • Autumn 2019: M. Todd Henderson

Art Law

This seminar examines legal issues in the visual arts including artist's rights and copyright, government regulation of the art market, valuation problems related to authentication and artist estates, disputes over the ownership of art, illicit international trade of art, government funding of museums and artists, and First Amendment issues as they relate to museums and artists. Final grade will be based on: a major paper (6000-7500 words) and class participation.


  • Autumn 2022: William M Landes and Anthony Hirschel
  • Autumn 2021: William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel
  • Autumn 2019: William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel
  • Autumn 2017: William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel
  • Autumn 2018: William M. Landes and Anthony Hirschel

Blockchain, Crypto, and the Law

Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain have been a hot topic for several years, garnering unprecedented financial, technological, and regulatory attention. Fitting new technologies into existing legal frameworks requires a combination of creativity and brute force. This course runs through the major legal issues that have arisen in the blockchain / crypto space. Some have been answered, at least tentatively. And others are the subject of roiling debate. Grades will be based on a paper (approximately 1500 words) as well as a group project concerning the topics taught in the class.

If you took Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and Web3 you will not be able to take this seminar.


  • Winter 2023: Matthew Ford and Katharine Roin

Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and Web3

This course provides a non-technical introduction to blockchain technology, an introduction to several important use cases (including cryptocurrencies, smart contracts and financing investment),and discusses both economic and legal issues that arise from these use cases. We will cover, among other things, smart contracts, the economics of mining, token economics (including pricing), defi, NFTs, securities and tax law issues. This class requires a series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Autumn 2022: Anup Malani and Anthony Zhang

Constitutional Law VII: Parent, Child, and State

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

Derivatives, Repo, and Prime Brokerage - Negotiation and Practical Analysis

In this hands-on class, students will learn the fundamentals of the negotiation and legal structuring of derivatives and related instruments such as repo and prime brokerage. Students will engage in simulated negotiation, drafting and issue-spotting, with a focus on the challenges regularly confronted by practitioners in the private equity and opportunistic credit spaces. Class will be a mix of lecture and simulated implementation of trading programs for hypothetical clients. Grades will be based on a mix of class participation and negotiation projects.


  • Spring 2022: Jaime A. Madell

Disability Rights Law

This course will focus on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including the interpretation of the definition of disability and the subsequent ADA Amendments Act; employment discrimination; the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision guaranteeing community integration; and the ADA's application to healthcare, education, websites and criminal justice. In addition to the ADA, the seminar will review disability laws related to special education and housing.

This class requires a series of very short reaction papers and an 2350-3000 word term paper (for 2 credits). To earn 3 credits students must write a term paper of 3500-4400 words in addition to the reaction papers. Participation may be considered in the final grading.


  • Winter 2023: Barry Taylor
  • Winter 2022: Andrew Webb and Barry Taylor

Divorce Practice and Procedure

This is a simulation class providing exposure to the dynamic process of representing clients in dissolution of marriage cases and issues related to them. The class will make you aware of the complexities arising when the ever-changing family unit becomes divided. Topics are covered through an evolving case, with each student in the role of a practicing lawyer. Issues include interstate and international parental kidnapping, determination of jurisdiction, domestic violence, restraining orders and injunctions, temporary and permanent parenting rights and responsibilities (custody and visitation), temporary and permanent maintenance (alimony), child support, the characterization of property and division of assets and liabilities; also, premarital and post marital agreements, ethical issues, federal tax law affecting divorce and the effects of bankruptcy. Students will discuss and argue issues not only with instructors, but also with one or more sitting Illinois Domestic Relations Court judges, as well as interacting with classmates. Readings will be drawn from case law, statutes, and court approved forms used in contested proceedings. One half of a student's grade is based on preparation for and class participation and one half on a series of six short papers related to class topics of less than five pages.


  • Autumn 2021: Donald Schiller and Erika Wyatt
  • Autumn 2020: Donald Schiller and Erika Wyatt
  • Autumn 2019: Donald Schiller and Erika Wyatt
  • Autumn 2018: Donald Schiller and Erika Wyatt
  • Autumn 2017: Donald Schiller and Erika Wyatt

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 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

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.


  • 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

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 examination. Students wishing to earn 3 credits for the class may write a 10-12+ page research paper in addition to the final exam.

Participation may be considered in final grading.

The first class session for Employment Law will be held on Wednesday, April 5. Two make-up sessions will be scheduled at a later date.


  • Spring 2023: James Whitehead
  • 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

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 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
  • Spring 2023: Randall Schmidt
  • Autumn 2022: 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 Transactions Seminar

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

Environmental Law in Bankruptcy and Transactions

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

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.

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

Environmental and Energy Justice

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 N Templeton

Estate Planning And Drafting

This seminar in estate planning and drafting meets the ABA definition of an experiential course. The seminar will give students experience in drafting specific provisions of wills and trust instruments, including provisions relating to the use of class gifts, conditions of survival, and powers of appointment. The seminar also will give students the experience of drafting a will for a live client. Students will be graded on a series of experiential assignments, including the will-drafting project, and on class participation. There are no prerequisites.

Students who have taken "The Law of Future Interests" in Autumn 2021 are not eligible to enroll in this seminar.


  • Spring 2023: Thomas P. Gallanis
  • Spring 2021: Thomas P. Gallanis
  • Spring 2020: Thomas P. Gallanis

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, 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

Family Law

This course will examine the state's role in recognizing and regulating personal relationships between adults and between adults and children. Throughout the quarter we will explore assumptions about family that underlie existing legal regulation, including assumptions embodied in constitutional law. All students may choose between a series of short reaction papers or a major research paper (20-25 pages). Students who obtain instructor permission may meet the SRP or WP requirement. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Winter 2022: Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2020: Mary Anne Case
  • Winter 2018: Mary Anne Case
  • Autumn 2018: Kristin A. Collins

Gender Violence and the Law

This seminar focuses on the intersection of gender-based violence and criminal law. It examines the evolving legal history of gender violence, including marital rape and domestic violence. It also explores the definitions of rape and consent in both the Model Penal Code and various jurisdictions and how these differences impact the outcome of criminal cases. Students will engage with topics including credibility, juror and systemic bias, the intricate balance between victim and defendant rights, and the historic underreporting and under-prosecution of gender-based violence. The course will conclude with a brief discussion of civil remedies for survivors and their limitations. Grades will be based on a series of short reaction papers and a final (10-12 page) paper as well as class participation.


  • Spring 2023: Elizabeth Payne

Global Inequality

Global income and wealth are highly concentrated. The richest 2% of the population own about half of the global assets. Per capita income in the United States is around $66,000 and in Europe it is around $38,500, while in India it is $6,400 and in Congo, it is $1,100. There are equally unsettling inequalities in longevity, health, and education. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we ask what duties nations and individuals have to address these inequalities and what are the best strategies for doing so. What role must each country play in helping itself? What is the role of international agreements and agencies, of NGOs, of political institutions, and of corporations in addressing global poverty? How do we weigh policies that emphasize growth against policies that emphasize within-country equality, health, or education? In seeking answers to these questions, the class will combine readings on the law and economics of global development with readings on the philosophy of global justice. A particular focus will be on the role that legal institutions, both domestic and international, play in discharging these duties. For, example, we might focus on how a nation with natural resources can design legal institutions to ensure they are exploited for the benefit of the citizens of the country. Students will be expected to write a paper (6000-7500 words), which may qualify for substantial writing credit. Non-law students need instructor consent to enroll. Participation may be considered in final grading. This class will begin the week of January 2, 2023.


  • Winter 2023: Martha C Nussbaum and David A Weisbach
  • Winter 2021: Martha C. Nussbaum and David Weisbach
  • Winter 2019: Martha C. Nussbaum and David Weisbach

Greenberg Seminars: Cheating

This seminar will explore legal, ethical, and procedural issues inherent in questions of cheating and rule breaking in contexts ranging from sports and academics to private career advancement. We will look at the nature of rules and difficult distinctions that must be drawn such as why some rules are expected to be broken while others are not. We will explore the line between artificial performance enhancement as cheating on the one hand and as positive personal improvement on the other. For example, we will look at the different treatment of performance enhancing drugs in athletics and in performance art. We will also explore how and when law and government should be involved in setting and enforcing rules. Graded Pass/Fail.


  • Spring 2021: Anthony J. Casey and Erin Casey
  • Winter 2021: Anthony J. Casey and Erin Casey
  • Autumn 2020: Anthony J. Casey and Erin Casey

Greenberg Seminars: Race and Public Health

This Greenberg seminar will examine the interaction of public health questions (broadly defined to include both the public health system generally and environmental determinants of health) and racial dynamics in the US and beyond. We will read five texts on different areas of this topic.

Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.

The Greenberg Seminars Lottery will take place after the initial registration and bidding period, from September 14-16, 2022. Meetings have not been set by the faculty, but will likely take place on weekend mornings throughout the year.


  • Autumn 2022: Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq

Greenberg Seminars: The Law of Space

This is a year long seminar. This Greenberg Seminar will explore the law governing space programs and outer space, including issues involving the International Space Station, the Moon and other extraterrestrial bodies, lost astronauts, and any number of other topics. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.


  • Autumn 2021: Jonathan Masur and Bridget A. Fahey

Greenberg Seminars: Wine and the Law

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

Health Care Law and Policy

This class will cover the basics of health law, health economics and U.S. health care policy. We will discuss the value of health, the productivity of health care and the role of health insurance. We will also review the major sources of US health care (physicians, hospitals, and drugs) and health insurance (including Medicaid and Medicare). We will also discuss the common law and statutory regulation of these providers in common law and statute, as well as regulation of health insurance in the US. We will discuss the drivers of health care innovation and health care costs. We will also take up timely policy topics such as Medicare for All, drug pricing, medical bankruptcy, racial disparities in health, and hospital mergers. My aim is to provide a survey of the many views of health care markets, regulation and reforms. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading. This class will not meet on September 21. A make-up class has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 6 from 12:15pm-1:20pm in Room D.


  • Autumn 2021: Anup Malani

Historic Preservation Law

This seminar explores the roots of historic and cultural preservation, examines the question of why (or whether) cultural artifacts should be preserved and looks at the current federal and local laws affecting historic and cultural artifacts. We will look at our own Saarinen-designed Law School building in this context. We will reexamine the validity of the Penn Central v. City of New York decision as a rationale for preservation and its impact on private property rights. Finally, we will try to understand how changing societal values influence the selection and preservation of historic artifacts. Grade is based on four short papers, preparation and class participation.

Property Law, Land Use Law, Administrative Law or Local Government Law are helpful background for Historic Preservation Law.


  • Autumn 2022: Richard F Friedman
  • Autumn 2020: Richard F. Friedman

Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic

The Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic provides legal representation on complex real estate development projects to build affordable housing. Clients include nonprofit, community-based affordable housing developers and housing cooperatives. Students serve as deal lawyers, working with clients and teams of professionals -- such as financial consultants, architects, marketing professionals, property managers, and social service providers -- to bring affordable housing and mixed use development projects to fruition. Projects range from single family rehabs with budgets in the $30,000 to $75,000 range, to multi-million dollar rental and mixed use projects financed by low income housing tax credits, tax exempt bonds, TIF, and other layered subsidies. Students also counsel nonprofit clients on governance and tax issues related to their work. In addition to their client work, students meet as a group in a weekly two-hour seminar in autumn quarter, and in a weekly one-hour seminar during winter and spring quarters, to discuss the substantive rules and legal skills pertinent to real estate development transactions and to examine emergent issues arising out of the students' work. During the fall quarter seminar, returning clinic students need only attend the first hour; new students should attend for the full two hours. In the winter and spring quarters, all students should attend all the one-hour seminar sessions. Academic credit for the Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic varies and is 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.


  • Winter 2023: Jeffrey E Leslie
  • Spring 2023: Jeffrey E Leslie
  • Autumn 2022: Jeffrey E Leslie
  • Spring 2022: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Spring 2021: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Winter 2021: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Autumn 2020: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Spring 2020: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Winter 2020: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Autumn 2019: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Spring 2019: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Winter 2019: Jeffrey E. Leslie
  • Autumn 2018: Jeffrey E. Leslie

Human Trafficking and the link to Public Corruption

This course provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of human trafficking both domestically and internationally. In the year of the 20th anniversary of the Palermo Protocol, the course will look back on how far individual states have come in their efforts to fulfill their obligations under the Protocol. By reviewing the challenges to criminal prosecution first, the course will explore alternative paths to eradicating this transnational human rights crime that impacts over 40 million individuals annually. Reviewing the array of supply chain laws domestically and internationally first and then exploring industry-wide practices, students will learn to examine solutions from an array of laws that reach beyond merely criminal prosecution. Recognizing that public corruption plays a significant and powerful role in aiding the crime to continue with little societal repercussions, the course will explore ways in which the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the TVPRA have mechanisms to enforce these violations that provide billions of dollars to the traffickers. Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall. This class requires a major paper of 6000-7500 words.

Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Winter 2023: Virginia Kendall
  • Winter 2022: Virginia Kendall
  • Winter 2021: Virginia Kendall
  • Winter 2020: Virginia Kendall

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, 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.


  • Winter 2023: A. Nicole Hallett
  • Spring 2023: A. Nicole Hallett
  • Autumn 2022: 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

Immigration Law

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

Insurance Law

This course introduces students to insurance institutions and insurance law, with the ultimate goal of understanding the role of insurance in society. Liability, life, and property insurance will receive the most attention, but we will also discuss health and disability insurance. After taking this course, students will know how to read and analyze a standard form insurance contract, how to work with insurance regulatory materials, how to spot the insurance issues in a wide variety of legal and public policy contexts, and will have a more advanced understanding of Tort and Contract law. Cross-cutting themes of interest include the effects of insurance on tort law and on litigation, the formation and performance of insurance contracts, the use of personal attributes to classify policyholders' risk, the effect of insurance on risky activity in society, and the ways in which various conceptions of justice are achieved through insurance mechanisms.

This class has a final exam.


  • Spring 2023: Omri Ben-Shahar
  • Spring 2021: Omri Ben-Shahar
  • Spring 2020: Omri Ben-Shahar

Intellectual Property-based Finance and Investment

Developed world corporations today are focused on an innovation heavy, tangible asset-lite model while exporting manufacturing, a lower margin enterprise. The trend is demonstrated by increased levels of R&D in innovation-driven industries, a doubling of issued patents outstanding and material, concentrated changes in the underlying IP law. While IP valuation, implementation and technological trends are coming to dominate many forms of investing, optimal risk adjusted returns morph with levels in the equity and credits markets and changes in IP law. This course will review these trends, explain the range of IP investment types (liquid/Illiquid, public/private, cash/derivative) and illustrate how insight into IP can drive investment and capital market decision making. Final grade will be based on a major paper (6000-7500 words). Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Autumn 2022: Michael Friedman
  • Autumn 2021: Michael Friedman
  • Autumn 2020: Michael Friedman
  • Autumn 2019: Michael Friedman
  • Autumn 2017: Michael Friedman

Introductory Income Taxation

This class provides an introduction to the design and operation of the federal income tax. Topics covered in this class include the definition of income, deductions, the tax treatment of gains and losses generated by sales and other dispositions of assets, realization and other timing issues, and tax shelters. The class uses a combination of lectures, problems, and class discussions to teach students about the interplay of the Internal Revenue Code, regulations and other agency interpretations of the Code, and judicial opinions in the administration of tax law. This class will also look into the policies underlying the design of the tax system. There are no prerequisites for this course. This class has a final exam.


  • Autumn 2022: Julie Roin
  • Spring 2022: Dhammika Dharmapala
  • Autumn 2021: Julie Roin
  • Autumn 2020: Julie Roin
  • Spring 2020: Daniel Hemel
  • Autumn 2019: Julie Roin
  • Spring 2019: Daniel Hemel
  • Autumn 2018: Julie Roin
  • Spring 2018: Dhammika Dharmapala
  • Winter 2018: Daniel Hemel
  • Autumn 2017: Julie Roin

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.


  • Autumn 2021: Anup Malani
  • Winter 2021: Anup Malani

Law and the Economics of Natural Resources Markets

Market-based mechanisms such as emissions trading are becoming widely accepted as cost-effective methods for addressing environmental concerns, especially as societies move towards a carbon-constrained future. In the last decade, we have witnessed the expansion of environmental finance to new products - carbon dioxide spot and futures contracts, sulfur dioxide futures and over-the-counter water contracts - that are now fully integrated financial instruments for hedging and speculation. These mechanisms also have potential benefits to address issues in other pressing matters such as water quality, fisheries and biodiversity protection. Non-law students must apply by emailing a resume and letter of interest to Arthur Langlois at by 5PM on Monday, February 27. This class will have 3 remote sessions: April 5th, April 26th and May 3rd. Students may sit in the regular classroom to attend these sessions remotely.

This class requires a series of research papers (6000-7500 words). Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Spring 2023: Richard Sandor
  • Autumn 2021: Richard Sandor
  • Spring 2020: Richard Sandor
  • Spring 2019: Richard Sandor


This seminar examines the treatment of gender, sexual orientation and related questions of sexuality and identity in the U.S. legal system. The course emphasizes constitutional jurisprudence and theory with a particular focus on the First Amendment and the equal protection and due process guarantees, and statutory antidiscrimination provisions. Topics covered include marriage rights, student speech, the definition of sex under the equal protection guarantee and statutory antidiscrimination provisions, the rights of students to access sex segregated facilities, public and private workplace concerns, rights of intimate and expressive association, and asserted conflicts between religious liberty, free speech rights, and nondiscrimination principles.

The course requires a major paper (6000-7500 words). The paper will be a mock appellate brief.

Participation may be considered in final grading.

A constitutional law course is recommended but not required prior to taking this class.


  • Winter 2023: Camilla Taylor
  • Winter 2022: Camilla Taylor
  • Winter 2021: Camilla Taylor
  • Winter 2020: Camilla Taylor
  • Winter 2019: Camilla Taylor

Life (and Death) in the Law

This seminar will explore the various definitions and valuations of life across diverse areas of the law. Readings will include seminal cases in reproductive rights, assisted suicide, right-to-die, and capital punishment. Background readings in related areas, i.e., scientific journals, papers, etc. will also be required. The seminar will discuss policy decision-making including actuarial analysis and social, medical and religious values inherent, implicit or ignored in the legal analysis. Students will be required to write three response papers, co-draft a statute in one area of law, and participate in jury deliberations. Grade will also be based on class participation. This is a biddable class. Priority registration to 3L students.


  • Spring 2023: Herschella Conyers
  • Spring 2022: Herschella Conyers
  • Spring 2021: Herschella Conyers
  • Spring 2020: Herschella Conyers
  • Spring 2019: Herschella Conyers
  • Spring 2018: Herschella Conyers


This course will provide an introduction to microeconomics that will serve as a foundation for applying economics to law and current policy topics. We will cover supply, demand and market equilibrium; the incidence of taxes and subsidies; price and non-price allocation; efficiency and distribution; market structure and power; among other topics. The course will illustrate each of these concepts with application to the legal system, legal rules and legally salient policy, e.g., the market for lawyers, contract law, and crime policy. This course is different than a law and economics course in two ways. First, it spends more time teaching economics. Second, the goal is to enable you to apply economics beyond law to policies that lawyers may care about, e.g., supply of reproductive services, the distributive effects of loan forgiveness, and the effect of antidiscrimination law. This course will require students to be able to do some basic algebra and some elementary calculations.

This course will have a final exam. Participation may be considered in the final grading.


  • Winter 2023: Anup Malani

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. This class has a final exam.


  • Winter 2023: Richard Helmholz

Pandemic Legal Impacts

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

Philosophy of Animal Rights

A close study of some recent philosophical classics about animal ethics and animal rights, including Christine Korsgaard's Fellow Creatures, Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka's Zoopolis, and a manuscript of my own, Justice for Animals, that is due at the end of 2021. We will also read some of the recent work by scientists such as Frans De Waal, Mark Bekoff, and Victoria Braithwaite on animal cognition. A 20-25 page paper is required.


  • Autumn 2021: Martha C. Nussbaum

Poverty and Housing Law Clinic

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
  • 2023 Spring: Dennericka Brooks
  • Spring 2022: Lawrence Wood
  • Winter 2022: Lawrence Wood
  • Spring 2021: Lawrence Wood
  • Winter 2021: Lawrence Wood
  • Spring 2020: Lawrence Wood
  • Winter 2020: Lawrence Wood
  • Spring 2019: Lawrence Wood
  • Winter 2019: Lawrence Wood

Privacy Law

This course surveys legal efforts to draw boundaries between the public and private spheres. Substantive topics of discussion may include privacy tort law, the constitutional right to information privacy, financial privacy, Internet and consumer privacy; health privacy; FTC privacy regulations; state data protection laws, European privacy law; the relationship between privacy and the First Amendment; and restrictions on governmental investigations and surveillance. The student's grade is based on a final examination and class participation.


  • Spring 2022: Lior Strahilevitz
  • Spring 2021: Filippo Maria Lancieri
  • Autumn 2019: Lior Strahilevitz (as Privacy)
  • Winter 2018: Lior Strahilevitz (as Privacy)

Project and Infrastructure Development and Finance

This seminar is focused on the development and project financing of infrastructure facilities. These transactions feature a wide variety of commercial agreements and financial instruments, legal and financial structuring, and a significant role for lawyers. Public private partnership structures will be examined. Representative transactions, principally in the energy, transportation and public infrastructure sectors, will be selected for analysis and discussion. Infrastructure projects such as these provide a convenient vehicle for discussion of contractual provisions, structuring parameters, financial analysis, and legal practice issues common to a broad range of business and financial transactions. The classes will be discussion oriented; there will be 3-4 short papers, an analytical paper of at least 10- 13 pages based on a case study and class participation. Cumulatively, the writing assignments will require papers totaling 6000-7500 words. There are no pre-requisites, although basic corporation law is recommended. The readings will be taken from textbooks, professional journals, and actual commercial and financial contracts. A speaker from the financial community with a wide range of experience is expected. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.


  • Autumn 2022: Martin Jacobson
  • Autumn 2021: Martin Jacobson
  • Autumn 2020: Martin Jacobson
  • Autumn 2019: Martin Jacobson
  • Autumn 2018: Martin Jacobson
  • Autumn 2017: Martin Jacobson

Real Estate Transactions

Real Estate Transactions will focus on the lawyer's role in structuring and negotiating investments in commercial real estate. The course will explore legal and related business issues encountered when acquiring, selling and financing commercial real estate investments, including through mortgage and mezzanine debt and will also focus on "joint ventures" and other capital aggregation vehicles. Our goal in the course is to provide you with an understanding of how an attorney can be most effective in negotiating and documenting sophisticated real estate transactional agreements. Students will learn to look at the motives, goals and roles of each party to a transaction and to make sure that the legal structure most efficiently accommodates the client's business objectives. Final grade will be based on three or four short projects and class participation.


  • Spring 2023: Andrew D. Small
  • Autumn 2021: Andrew D. Small
  • Winter 2021: Andrew D. Small
  • Winter 2020: Andrew D. Small
  • Winter 2019: Andrew D. Small
  • Winter 2018: Andrew D. Small

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 (6000-7500 words) or a series of short papers, with class participation taken into account.


  • Spring 2023: Mary Anne 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

Reproductive Health and Justice

In 2022 we saw a once-in-a-generation seismic shift in the legal framework governing the right to obtain reproductive health care in the United States with the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. This course will examine the historical evolution of the right to abortion from Roe v. Wade through Dobbs, and how states both hostile and protective with regard to reproductive rights are attempting to respond since Roe has been overturned. It will also consider the shortcomings of legal approaches to securing reproductive health, and the critiques and insights offered by the reproductive justice movement. This class requires a major paper of 6000-7500 words. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Winter 2023: Emily Werth

Resolving Mass Tort Liability

Mass tort liabilities, which are generally liabilities owed by a company to multiple individuals arising from damages tied to that company, are complicated, costly, and can drag on for decades. The classic example is liability related to asbestos-containing products, but more recent mass torts, such as Purdue's liability related to its sale of opioids, demonstrate the complexity, public attention, and high costs that make resolving mass tort liabilities so difficult. This course will begin with an overview of the traditional options companies can use to resolve mass tort liability in the legal system, which include class actions, multi-district litigation, and settlements. The course will then explore how various companies have attempted to resolve their mass tort liabilities using these methods, and will conclude with an evaluation of the role that bankruptcy can play in the resolution of mass tort liabilities.

Students will be evaluated on three brief papers: a client memorandum and two draft pleadings. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Students may benefit from having previously taken a bankruptcy or products liability class.


  • Winter 2023: Amanda Johnson

Responses of Law and Legal Institutions to the Impacts of Racial Segregation in Chicago

Chicago is among the most racially segregated major cities in America and also has one of the greatest disparities in poverty rate by race. Racial segregation in Chicago is the product of governmental policies & socio-economic trends. Such segregation has in turn given rise to many social justice issues that impact Chicago communities.

This three-credit seminar is designed to examine social and legal problems in Chicago that are connected to racial segregation in the city. In doing so, the seminar will provide an opportunity to evaluate how different areas of law interact with and effect a complex web of social problems. This seminar will meet once a week, for two hours.

The introductory sessions will provide an overview of the historic drivers of racial segregation in Chicago, key contemporary racial, socio-economic, administrative and political dynamics in the City. Each subsequent session will be led by a different faculty member or external expert and focused on exploring the ways key laws, policies, and legal institutions within a particular area of law create or exacerbate social ills related to racial segregation. Sessions in prior years have focused on criminal law, policing, environmental justice, human rights, corporate law, education, & housing. Each session will present a tailored mix of legal doctrine, interdisciplinary insights, & practical perspectives on the way law and legal institutions redress or reinforce a particular social challenge in contemporary Chicago. Some sessions will feature guest speakers to convey the real-world effect of legal institutions on a community.

Students will be assessed in the following ways: 1) weekly reactions to the readings in advance of the week's seminar; 2) a final research paper (20-25 pages); and 3) class participation.


  • Winter 2022: Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2021: Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2020: Robert A. Weinstock, Nino Guruli, and Amy Marie Hermalik

Retail Law and Transactions

This seminar addresses the principal legal issues and commercial challenges facing the retail sector. Particular attention will be paid to relations with vendors and other third-party business associates, and customers, the effect of the evolving economy on these relations, and the challenges and opportunities brought about by globalization, technology, social media, and e-commerce. Students will develop an understanding of key corporate, IP, contracting, sourcing, regulatory and other legal issues and practice pitfalls. The instructors will emphasize the practical interplay and tension between commercial realities and legal requirements, and strive to demonstrate the increasing professional burdens and responsibilities to which "in-house" counsel are subject. At times, the instructors will use a case-study format to emphasize identification and resolution of key issues and risks experienced by retailers, as well as to highlight examples of retailers both thriving and struggling to adapt to change. The instructors also will use actual contracts, retailer policies and practices, litigation materials and internal-investigation documents. The class will participate in multiple role-playing scenarios, including contract negotiations and a crisis management reenactment. Final grade will be based on: substantial out of classroom work, group projects.


  • Spring 2022: Peter Afendoulis
  • Spring 2021: Peter Afendoulis
  • Spring 2020: David Zarfes and Josh Avratin
  • Spring 2019: David Zarfes
  • Spring 2018: David Zarfes

Structuring Financial Instruments

This seminar introduces tax, legal, accounting and economic principles relevant to the structuring of complex financial instruments-from forwards, swaps and options to convertible bonds and other securities with embedded derivatives. Throughout the seminar, different products designed to achieve similar economic goals will be examined to highlight the significance of structuring choices and the range of techniques available. For example, there are various products that can be used to approximate the economics of buying an asset, without an actual purchase of that asset. The seminar will examine how these products are treated differently for tax, securities law, commodities law, bankruptcy, accounting and other purposes, notwithstanding their economic similarity. Students will develop the ability to optimize transactions by selecting among existing financial instruments or inventing new ones. The seminar will also include discussion of policy issues. No specific prerequisites, but introductory income tax recommended, and knowledge of securities law and bankruptcy law helpful. The seminar will be assessed via a) a series of reaction papers (2 credits) or b) via a full-length research paper of 6000-7500 words (3 credits and has the potential to satisfy the Writing Project requirement). Class participation and attendance will be considered in the final grading.


  • Spring 2023

The Law of Future Interests

This course will deal with the creation and utility of interests in real and personal property that take effect in the future. Class gifts, powers of appointment, charitable bequests, conditional limitation, and the rule against perpetuities will be among the subjects covered. Special attention will be paid to the enactment and construction of modern statutes affecting these subjects. For students who intend to enroll in the Law School's course in Trusts and Estates, this offering should provide important grounding. Students who took Estate Planning and Drafting may not take this course. This class has a final exam.


  • Autumn 2021: R. H. Helmholz

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 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

Transgender Rights & the Law

This seminar examines the treatment of gender identity in the U.S. legal system. The course emphasizes historical and social construction of transgender and gender nonconforming identities and the regulation of them and protections based on such actual or perceived identities. This course emphasizes statutory criminalization and protections as well as constitutional jurisprudence and theory with a particular focus on equal protection, due process, and eighth amendment guarantees. Topics covered include criminalization of gender expression, medicalization of gender, access to health care, the definition of sex under the equal protection guarantee and statutory nondiscrimination provisions, issues regarding access to sex-segregated facilities and activities, public and private workplace concerns, as well as current legislative developments. This class requires a series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in the final grading.


  • Spring 2023: Kara Ingelhart and Emma Cone-Roddy

Tragedies and Takings: Selected Topics in Land Use and Resource Allocation

This seminar will examine dilemmas in the use of land and other resources from legal, theoretical, and policy perspectives. We will start with the familiar tragedy of the commons, and then turn to the literature on anticommons and semicommons regimes. With those templates in mind, we will examine how issues such as land assembly, conservation, and urban policy might be addressed, with a particular focus on the challenges of managing conflict and change over time. We will consider eminent domain and its alternatives, and will also spend significant time on the case law and theory surrounding implicit takings (including physical takings, regulatory takings, and judicial takings). The student's grade will be based on a paper (6000-7500 words) and class participation.

Students who fulfill the class requirements will be eligible for a WP. To receive an SRP, students must meet additional requirements, including timely submission of an initial draft for purposes of receiving feedback.

Property is a recommended prerequisite but not required.


  • Winter 2023: Lee Fennell

Trusts and Estates: Wealth Management and Transmission

This course examines the law and practice of private wealth management and transmission, typically within the family and often across generations. Among the topics covered are: (1) the policy basis of inheritance and the changing character of intergenerational wealth transfer; (2) intestate succession; (3) the execution and revocation of wills; (4) the rise of will substitutes, including revocable trusts, life insurance, and pension and retirement accounts; (5) spousal protection against disinheritance; (6) the creation, modification, and termination of trusts; (7) the particular rules applicable to charitable trusts; (8) the fiduciary duties of trustees, the principles governing trust investments, and the emerging use of directed trusts; and (9) the nature of a beneficiary's interest in trust, the range of the trustee's discretion, and the rights of a beneficiary's creditors, with special reference to discretionary, spendthrift, and asset protection trusts. The provisions of the Uniform Trust Code, Uniform Probate Code, and other uniform laws will be emphasized. The final examination will be open book.

Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Winter 2023: Thomas P. Gallanis
  • Spring 2022: Thomas P. Gallanis
  • Winter 2021: Thomas P. Gallanis
  • Winter 2020: Thomas P. Gallanis
  • Winter 2019: Thomas P. Gallanis
  • Autumn 2017: Thomas P. Gallanis

Workshop: Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender

This workshop exposes students to recent academic work in the regulation of family, sex, gender, and sexuality and in feminist theory. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers and University faculty. The substance and methodological orientation of the papers will both be diverse.Students have the option of writing a major research paper for SRP or WP credit (6000-7500 words) or short reaction papers commenting on the works-in-progress presented.


  • Winter 2023: Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2023: Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2022: Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2021: Mary Anne Case
  • Winter 2021: Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2020: Mary Anne Case
  • Winter 2020: Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2019: Mary Anne Case
  • Autumn 2018: Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2018: Mary Anne Case
  • Winter 2018: Mary Anne Case