This course is designed to deepen understandings of the ways that law intersects with policy, with politics, and with issues of governance through the exploration of some of the hot-button property topics of our time and place. For the past two years, class members have selected one of our units of study; that is likely to happen again this year. Our focus will be on practical, on-the-ground conflicts in which community and/or individual welfare is at stake. We will use an eclectic mix of materials that will include standard legal sources plus popular accounts, film, and guest-participants who are lawyers, interested parties, or political decision-makers.
Students will write a research paper which may, at the student's option, qualify for the writing requirement. If that requirement has already been satisfied, the student may write two shorter papers instead. Students writing the long paper may write with one or more others, with the instructor's permission. All topics and joint-paper methodologies must be approved by the instructor. Every year, papers written for this seminar have morphed into published law review Notes. Topics will be culled for that potential, if students so wish. Law Review Notes and those for other journals which began life as papers in this seminar have won prizes during the past several years.