All VLS Courses
Judicial Opinion Writing
Explores the opinion-writing process from several theoretical and practical perspectives. Students draft law clerk memos and judicial opinions based on the briefs and records in actual state and federal cases.
Modeled after the Oxford-Cambridge tutorial system in which the student and faculty member follow a course of reading and meet to discuss, this tutorial provides an opportunity for students to master a field of law and/or philosophy, or explore a particular author's writings in depth, or resolve a particular problem. The preferred subjects are philosophy, jurisprudence, social and political philosophy, ethics, land use, population, environmental, and tort law.
Juvenile Justice Seminar
Explores the historical and current administration of juvenile justice in the US, including the legal and policy justifications for having a separate system for young offenders, and whether this division continues to make sense today.
Land and the Law of Takings
Traces the development of the constitutional regulatory takings doctrine in the United States-why it developed, what lines it draws, what voids have not yet been filled, how existing case law applies to various types of situations and whether the lines need to be redrawn by the courts or by legislatures to meet more fully the complex, competing needs of our society.
Land Conservation Law
Examines the tools available to preserve ecological diversity, historic places, working lands, scenic viewsheds, and open space, such as conservation easements, purchase of sensitive lands, and private/public partnerships for land conservation. The course provides a practical understanding of both the legal and nonlegal dimensions of land conservation transactions involving conservation easements.
Download 2013 Course Syllabus
Land Transactions and Finance
An introduction to land transaction and finance, covering the study of the title system, title insurance and land contracts, the private development process, and modern real estate financing, including private financing and public financing. The course also introduces the public-private development process including redevelopment, military base conversion and Brownfield's redevelopment.
Land Use and Policy Clinic
Provides an opportunity to address land use issues through the application of law and planning tools. Students work in non-adversarial projects such as drafting of legislation, plans, or legal instruments; researching, summarizing and analyzing relevant law and planning tools; developing training materials; and making presentations to lawyers and land use professionals. Students also attend a weekly class and a weekly project strategy session.
Land Use Clinic
Provides an opportunity to develop lawyering skills, particularly as applied in the area of land use practice. The classroom component introduces relevant land use law, practice, and competencies needed for effective representation. The placements build on the class providing students a significant practical experience in land use law.
Land Use Regulation
A basic course in land use law. Covers planning and all manner of private and public land use regulation from common interest communities, to subdivisions, to zoning, to variances, to planned development districts, to transit-oriented development, to traditional neighborhood design, to form-based codes, to growth management.
Law of International Organizations
Focuses on the law of treaty-based intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), including their constitutive laws, the laws governing their internal functioning, and the "laws" they promulgate in the form of binding and nonbinding agreements and regulations. The course examines the United Nations and its specialized agencies as well as other other IGO in diverse fields.