Public & Regulatory Law Pathway

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Public and Regulatory Law deals with regulatory and constitutional issues. This concentration is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the laws which regulate society.

There are a number of courses devoted to subjects within the area of Public and Regulatory Law as well courses to help you prepare to take the bar examination. Students who want to pursue legal practice in this area should consider the courses below. Other courses, besides those listed, are offered under the FIU College of Law curriculum.

Please view the Schedule of Classes to determine which courses will be offered during the current school year.

Foundation Courses related to this pathway include: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law.

Core Course

Administrative Law
LAW 6520 Administrative Law (2-3). This is an introduction to the laws controlling executive branch agencies of government. Major topics include delegation of power to agencies, modes of agency action, control of agencies by the legislative branch, control by the judicial branch, and public access and influence.
Advanced Electives

LAW 6550 Antitrust (2-3). The course is a study of judicial decisions construing and applying the federal antitrust laws (i.e., Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Patman, and Federal Trade Commission Acts) to the control of the competitive process in the American economy.

Civil Rights
LAW 7510 Civil Rights (2-3). This course focuses on selected federal statutes enacted to remedy violations of federal constitutional rights. The principal Reconstruction Era statutes, 42 U.S.C. sections 1981, 1982, and 1983, are examined in depth.

Election Law
LAW 6584 Election Law (2-3). This course examines federal and state law regulating the conduct of elections and the financing of campaigns. It includes: aspects of federal and state constitutional law on speech, association, and equal protection; state law on who gets to vote and who gets voted for; and problems of apportionment, gerrymandering, race-conscious districting under the Voting Rights Act, and party governance. With respect to campaign finance, it considers: how much and what kinds of legal regulation are appropriate regarding parties, candidates, independents, political action committees, corporations, unions, and individuals; and the appropriate role of the courts.

Employment Discrimination
LAW 7549 Employment Discrimination (3). This course will assesses the major federal and state employment discrimination statutes (e.g., Title 7, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act) with emphasis on the relationship among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in the development and implementation of public policy.

Environmental Law
LAW 6471 Environmental Law (3). This is a survey of environmental regulation, addressing the environmental policies, rights, and remedies provided by the common law and various federal statutes. The course focuses on the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and various other statutes and common law doctrines related to hazardous wastes and toxic substances. Throughout the course, students will be asked to pay attention to the regulatory and administrative structures invoked by these statutes and doctrines.

First Amendment
LAW 7511 First Amendment (2-3). This course is an examination of the historical origins and underlying values of the rights of conscience protected in the First Amendment. The emphasis will be on the fundamental principles articulated in Supreme Court interpretations of its provisions relating to free speech, free press, and religious liberty.

Federal Courts
LAW 6302 Federal Courts (3). The course examines the power and role of the federal courts as defined by the United States Constitution, federal statutes and judicial decisions. Among the topics examined are federal question, diversity and civil rights jurisdiction, habeas corpus, immunities of state and local governments from suit, and abstention.

Florida Constitutional Law
LAW 7503 Florida Constitutional Law (2-3). This course studies the Constitution of the State of Florida, including recent decisions of the Florida Supreme Court and analysis of current proposals for constitutional change.

International Environmental Law
LAW 7268 International Environmental Law (2-3). This course focuses on issues including marine pollution, transboundary movement of hazardous waste, climate change, biodiversity, the relation of population and the environment, and other global and transboundary environmental problems.

Immigration Law
LAW 6264 Immigration Law (2-3). This course examines the major aspects of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The interrelationship between the administrative agencies empowered to execute the Immigration and Nationality Act’s mandate will be studied. Major attention will be focused on the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa systems, political asylum and refugees, exclusion and deportation of the foreign-born, and naturalization. Policy implications of the statute and judicial interpretations are addressed.

LAW 5210 Jurisprudence (2-3). This course is an investigation of the nature of law, and considers the differences between law and custom, morality, policy, “common sense,” logic, and reason. The course considers the philosophic underpinnings of the Restatements and other codes. It further inquiries into the sources and legitimacy of law, and asks whether law must be enforced and why wrongs should be righted.

Labor Law
LAW 6540 Labor Law (2-3). This course is about labor union activities and other forms of concerted activity. It focuses upon an employee’s right to form or join a union and the right to refrain from such activities. The course covers the representational and unfair labor practice provisions of the National Labor Relations Act, including the formation of a labor organization and negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements.

Land Use Planning and Control
LAW 6460 Land Use Planning and Control (2-3). Since the 1920s, our society has regulated urban and rural uses of land in an attempt to encourage the prudent allocation of land resources, thus this course undertakes an intensive analysis of the traditional regulatory techniques, including general and specific planning, zoning, and subdivision mapping, and relates them to the practical and political aspects of the land use entitlement process and to resolve conflicting use preferences.

Local Government Law
LAW 6531 Local Government Law (2-3). The powers, limitations, and special legal rules concerning local governments are studied in this course. Emphasis is given to Florida problems concerning counties, cities, and special districts.

Securities Law Enforcement
LAW 6561 Securities Law Enforcement (2-3). Securities Law Enforcement comprehensively examines the enforcement processes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from the perspective of both the government and the private practitioner. Coverage includes preliminary investigations, Wells letters, settlement procedures, litigation, and remedies. The course also considers the role of self-regulatory organizations like the New York Stock Exchange and National Association of Securities Dealers in enforcement of the securities laws. Prerequisites: Securities Regulation, Business Organizations, Law of Corporate Finance or students without prerequisites may also be enrolled in special circumstances with the permission of the instructor.

American Indian Law
LAW 6271 American Indian Law. The course will begin with historical materials, followed by an overview of federal Indian policy periods, and then will proceed to examine the legal framework chronologically then by subject matter.

Sports Law
LAW 6581 Sports Law (2-3). This course will focus on the application of various legal doctrines to sports activities. Representative topics include regulation of amateur athletics, public regulation of sports activities, legal relationships and structures in professional sports, and legal issues involved in representation of professional athletes.
  • Seminar: Constitutional Theory
    LAW 6936 Constitutional Theory Professor Baker. Lawyers arguing before judges — and judges deciding cases — must distinguish between what counts as a sound legal argument and what amounts to salon thinking. Arguments about the Constitution of the United States take place on several levels. This Seminar will challenge students, who have a grounding in constitutional doctrine, to explore the underlying theory.What distinguishes a credible constitutional argument from a goofy idea? What criteria should we use to select the proper interpretation of the Constitution from among competing possible interpretations? Is the distinction between law and politics a false dichotomy? Readings will consider theories based in originalism, governmental structure (federalism and separation of powers), moral reasoning, and Supreme Court precedent. We will sample various constitutional perspectives, including the theorizing of liberals, conservatives, feminists, critical race scholars, and postmodernists. The required book is: Michael J. Gerhardt, Stephen M. Griffin, Thomas D. Rowe & Lawrence B. Solum, Constitutional Theory: Arguments and Perspectives (4th. 2013). Enrollment is limited and a grading premium will be placed on class participation. A paper is required. More information will be available on the TWEN page.Justice Holmes observed, “We have too little theory in the law rather than too much . . . . Theory is my subject, not practical details. . . . Theory is the most important part of the dogma of the law . . . . It is not to be feared as unpractical, for, to the competent, it simply means going to the bottom of the subject.” You should take this Seminar if you want to move beyond “three-tiered analyses” and “four-part tests” in order to get to the bottom of constitutional law. See generally Thomas E. Baker, Constitutional Theory in a Nutshell, 13 Wm & Mary B. Rts. J. 57 (2004).
  • Seminar: Virtual Supreme Court
    This two-hour seminar will be limited to exactly nine (9) students. Each student will select one of the current or former justices of the Supreme Court and play the role of that justice to decide a series of constitutional cases taken from the docket of the current October Term and United States Reports. Within the limits of the semester, every effort will be made to conduct the seminar to resemble how the actual Supreme Court functions.Nota bene: to assure the success of this seminar and to be fair to those on the waiting list, students must commit to completing the seminar before the end of regular drop-add; therefore students who register agree that they will not drop the Seminar after the first day of classes. Before registering for the seminar, however, interested students should first submit the course application form to Professor Baker who will select the nine students and notify them that they may register.The seminar grade will be determined by the opinion(s) students write and join as well as by their participation in the Virtual Court’s Conferences to discuss and decide the cases. Each student-Justice is obliged to write at least one majority opinion or dissent; students satisfying the FIU College of Law Seminar Requirement must write two opinions of suitable judicial (publishable) quality and length. There will be additional role playing exercises throughout the semester, e.g., an exercise to decide whether to grant or deny a petition for a writ of certiorari.
Experiential Courses

Thomas E. Baker, Professor of Law

Ediberto Román, Professor of Law

John F. Stack, Jr., Professor of Political Science and Law

Howard M. Wasserman, Professor of Law

Juan Carlos Gomez, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Law

Kaylani Robbins, Professor of Law

Ryan B. Stoa, Senior Scholar