Administrative Law

The only thing that should be boring about this course is its title -- there is nothing boring about its subject matter. Administrative Law covers the law that regulates how government agencies and officials must act in dealing with the public. The course also considers some of the strategic dimensions of lawyering before government agencies: how you can use law (and whatever other tools are available) to persuade agencies to do what you or your clients want.

The course will consider how the administrative state fits within our system of government. It will examine the role of administrative agencies in our legal system and the various laws that govern and affect processes of governmental decision-making. It will cover how agencies implement legislative policy through the administrative process and the legal tools used by courts, legislative and executive officials, businesses, public interest groups and ordinary citizens to influence agency behavior.

The course explores several basic tensions that animate the administrative law - the tension between constitutional notions of separation of powers and agencies performing mixed executive, legislative, and judicial functions; the tension between discretionary decision-making by expert administrative agencies and efforts to hold agencies accountable to the political process; and the "arms race" between the President, Congress and the judiciary to develop new tools to enhance each branch's influence over the regulatory process. This course qualifies for credit towards both the Environmental Law and Health Law certificates.

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course