Advanced Legal Research: Administrative Law

This course would explore federal, state and local sources of administrative law and provide students the opportunity to research regulations, agency cases, and other administrative law, using a variety of print and online sources. The goal of the course is to give students an understanding of where administrative authority and law originates, and how to find it in its various forms, including: enabling statutes, agency regulations, decisions, opinions and policy, and executive orders.   Further, attention will be paid to the process of creating and tracking proposed regulations in a variety of different regulated areas (i.e. environmental, securities, labor, transportation).  Emphasis will be placed on using free, authentic resources to conduct much of this research.

The course would be structured as either a once-a-week 50 minute course during the entire semester or a condensed once-a-week 100 minute course that met for only 7 weeks during the semester.   The latter option would be preferable for the Fall semester, and it would generally give students more time to practice their skills in class with examples.   It could be feasible to feature some guest lecturers who currently work in regulated industries (either federal, state, or local) to showcase how they use administrative legal research skills in their day to day work.

Assessment would be based on a series of 3-4 assignments that reinforced the concepts, processes and materials learned in the lectures, plus a final comprehensive “capstone” assignment.   A take-home project would allow students to prepare a detailed research report on an agency of their choice highlighting the documents and research tools particular to that agency; students would then give a short presentation on their agency to the class, thereby allowing all students to gain a more comprehensive understanding on a variety of agencies.