Nicole Stelle Garnett

John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law

Office: 3119 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574.631.3091
Fax: 574.631.8078
Staff Assistant: Sharon Loftus
CV: View
SSRN: View

Nicole Stelle Garnett’s teaching and research focus on property, land use, urban development, local government law, and education policy. She is the author of numerous of articles on these subjects and of Ordering the City: Land Use, Policing and the Restoration of Urban America (Yale University Press, 2009). Her most recent book, Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools' Importance in Urban America (University of Chicago Press, 2014) represents the culmination of a major empirical research project with Professor Peg Brinig examining the effects of Catholic school closures on urban neighborhoods. At Notre Dame, Professor Garnett also is a Fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives and the Senior Policy Coordinator for the Alliance for Catholic Education, a program engaged in a wide array of efforts to strengthen and sustain K-!2 Catholic schools. From 2008-2010, she served as Provost Fellow at Notre Dame, and, during the Spring 2007 semester, as a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Professor Garnett received her B.A. from Stanford in 1992, where she graduated with honors and distinction in political science. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995. Following graduation from law school, Professor Garnett served as a law clerk for the Honorable Morris S. Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (1995-1996) and for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court (1998-1999). Before joining the law school in 1999, she worked for two years (1996-98) as a staff attorney at the Institute for Justice, a non-profit public-interest law firm in Washington, D.C.

Courses Taught

LAW60906, Property
LAW70313, Law of Education
LAW70317, Local Government
LAW70345, Land Use Planning
LAW70525, Urban Property Law
LAW73313, Higher Education Law



Lost Classrooms, Lost Community: Catholic Schools’ Importance in Urban America (with Margaret Brinig) (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

Ordering the City: Land Use, Policing and the Restoration of Urban America (Yale University Press, 2009)

Selected Publications

Disparate Impact, Public-School Closures and Parental Choice, 2014 Chicago Legal Forum 289 (2014)

A Room of One’s Own? Accessory-Dwelling-Unit Reforms and Local Parochialism (with Margaret Brinig), 45 Urban Lawyer 519 (2013)

Managing the Urban Commons, 160 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1995 (2012)

Are Charters Enough Choice? School Choice and the Future of Catholic Schools, 87 Notre Dame Law Review 1892 (2012)

Catholic Schools and Broken Windows with Margaret Brinig, 9 Journal of Empirical Legal 347 Studies (2012)

Catholic Schools, Charter Schools, and Crime, with Margaret Brinig, 79 University of Chicago Law Review 31 (2012)

The People Paradox, 2012 University of Illinois Law Review 43

A Winn for Educational Pluralism, 121 Yale L.J. Online 31 (2011),

Affordable Private Education and the Middle Class City, 77 University of Chicago Law Review 205 (2010)

Catholic Schools, Urban Neighborhoods, and Education Reform (with Margaret Brinig), 85 Notre Dame Law Review 887 (2010)

“But for the Grace of God, There Go I”: Justice Thomas and the Little Guy, 4 NYU Journal of Law & Liberty 626 (2010)

Private Norms and Public Spaces, 18 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 183 (2009)

Property In-Laws, 156 U. Pa. L. Rev. PENNumbra 279 (2007),

Suburbs as Exit, Suburbs as Entrance, 106 Michigan Law Review 277-304 (2007).

Planning as Public Use, 34 Ecology Law Quarterly 443 (2007).

Save the Cities, Stop the Suburbs? (book review), 116 Yale Law Journal 598-630 (2006). (reviewing Robert Bruegmann, Sprawl: A Compact History (Univ. of Chicago Press 2005) and Joel Kotkin, The City: A Global History (Modern Library Chronicles 2005))

The Neglected Political Economy of Eminent Domain, 105 Mich. L. Rev. 101 (2006)

Unsubsidizing Suburbia, 90 Minnesota L. Rev. 459 (2005).

Relocating Disorder, Virginia Law Review 1075 (2005).

Ordering (And Order In) The City, 57 Stanford Law Review 1 (2004).

The Public Use Question as a Takings Problem, 71 George Washington Law Review 934 (2003).

Trouble Preserving Paradise, 87 Cornell Law Review 158 (2001).

Areas of Expertise

  • Constitutional Law
  • Education Reform & Policy
  • Land Use Planning & Regulation
  • Local Government Law
  • Property Law
  • Regulatory Innovation/design/reform
  • School Choice
  • Urban & Economic Development

In the News

Yale Univ. Press Publishes Book by Prof. N. Garnett – November 3, 2009
Featured Faculty on NDLS Home Page: Nicole Stelle Garnett – January 12, 2009
Featured Faculty on NDLS Home Page: Nicole Stelle Garnett – May 19, 2008