Because of the complexity and diversity of their setting, urban problems sometimes transcend traditional legal solutions. The interdisciplinary Urban Legal Affairs Program prepares lawyers for specializing in practice, public service and corporate and financial institutions dealing with metropolitan-area problems. Students may pursue the areas of Planning and Governance, Environment and Natural Resources, and Real Estate Development.
If elected, a minimum of four and a maximum of eight credit hours (to be determined by the student in consultation with the thesis adviser) may be given for a written thesis on a subject approved by the student's thesis committee. The thesis must show substantial evidence of original research or development of the principles of at least one interdisciplinary field related to the area of urban studies pursued; be at least 75 pages in length; and be of high scholastic quality, suitable for publication as a lead article in a scholarly journal.
The thesis committee, consisting of the thesis adviser (selected by the student with the adviser's consent) and the School of Law graduate studies committee must approve the topic and the final form and substance of the thesis.
The School of Law graduate studies committee may approve other law school courses and up to six credit hours of courses in other schools and departments of the University related to the area of urban affairs pursued. Generally, students may not take required or basic bar examination J.D. courses for graduate credit.
Before enrollment, the student will work with the associate dean toward developing an individualized urban affairs course of studies.