Concentration in Real Estate and Environmental Law

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Notre Dame Law School offers a concentration in real estate law and environmental law for students pursuing the LL.M. at Notre Dame. Enriched by Notre Dame’s breadth of faculty expertise in property law, and energy and environmental law, and supported by the Program of Study in Real Estate Law and the Program of Study in Energy & Environmental Law, this concentration recognizes that students have completed a course of study focused on the legal theory of property, environmental law and its relation to energy, natural resources, land use law, and real estate issues.

Practicalities and Deadlines

Students should communicate their interest in following this concentration as part of their application to the LL.M. program. At the start of the fall semester, enrolled students should meet with Professor Dan Kelly, director of Notre Dame's Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate, and Professor Bruce Huber of the Program of Study in Energy & Environmental Law to discuss their interest and their course selections.

Requirements

Applicants may apply for either an introductory or advanced program of study. The introductory track, outlined in Section A below, is intended for international students (i.e., those who do not have a J.D. from an American law school). The advanced track, outlined in Section B below, is intended for domestic students (i.e., those who have a J.D. from an American law school) who wish to enhance their general education in real estate law and/or engage in specialized study of real estate law and environmental law issues. No student in either track may take classes that are the same or substantially similar to courses taken in their J.D. or equivalent first degree.

A student must have earned the required number of credits in real estate and environmental law courses and have satisfied the writing and activity requirements.

Please note that requirements to sit for the bar exam differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Pursuing this concentration may not allow a student to enroll in the credits necessary to sit for a bar exam in a jurisdiction in the United States. Students are encouraged to evaluate how the requirements to sit for a bar in the United States fit with this concentration’s requirements in consultation with the Career Development Office, and to evaluate their course of study in this concentration in that light with Dr. Felicia Caponigri, Acting Director of International and Graduate Programs, as soon as possible after beginning the LL.M. at Notre Dame.

A. Introductory Track (International Students)

Students must complete at least 16 credit hours of courses as detailed below.

1. Complete a minimum of 7 credits by completing Property Law and one of the following three core courses

  • Property [4 credits]

And one of the following:

  • Environmental Law [3 credits] or
  • Land Use Planning [3 credits] or
  • Real Estate Transactions [3 credits]

2. Complete a minimum of 9 credits from the following courses

  • Administrative Law [4 credits]
  • Advanced Real Estate Transactions [3 credits]
  • Commercial Real Estate Development & Finance [2 credits]
  • Contract Drafting 
  • Community Development Clinic
  • Cultural Heritage and Art Law [2-3 credits] 
  • Deals [3 credits]
  • Economic Justice Clinic [up to 5 credits]
  • Energy Law [3 credits]
  • International Environmental Law Seminar 
  • Investment Management Law
  • Law and Economics Seminar [2 credits]
  • Law and the Entrepreneur [2 credits]
  • Local Government Law 
  • Natural Resources Law [3 credits]
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations [3 credits]
  • Real Estate Transactions [3 credits]
  • Real Estate Colloquium [1.5 credits]
  • Transactional Law Intensive [3 credits]
  • Trusts and Estates [3 credits]
  • Water Law [2 credits]

3. Satisfy a writing requirement by completing a substantial research paper of at least 10,000 words (including text and footnotes) on a topic in property and environmental law. The writing requirement may be satisfied in conjunction with a course or through a 2-credit Directed Reading, which would be in addition to the 9 credit hour minimum detailed in Section 2 above.

4. Satisfy an activity requirement by attending 2 events sponsored by the Program on Real Estate Law or the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate each semester. A list of exemplary events on Real Estate topics can be found here. To ascertain that this activity requirement has been met, students are required to turn in a 1-page summary of the event.

B. Advanced Track (Domestic Students)

Students must complete at least 16 credit hours of courses as detailed below. Again, please note that students may not take for credit courses that are the same or substantially similar to those completed in their J.D. degree.

1. Complete a minimum of 6 credits from the following core courses

  • Environmental Law [3 credits] 
  • Land Use Planning [3 credits]
  • Natural Resources Law [3 credits]
  • Real Estate Transactions [3 credits]

2. Complete a minimum of 10 credits from the following courses

  • Administrative Law [4 credits]
  • Advanced Real Estate Transactions [3 credits]
  • Commercial Real Estate Development & Finance [2 credits]
  • Contract Drafting 
  • Community Development Clinic
  • Cultural Heritage and Art Law [2-3 credits] 
  • Deals [3 credits]
  • Economic Justice Clinic [up to 5 credits]
  • Energy Law [3 credits]
  • International Environmental Law Seminar 
  • Investment Management Law
  • Law and Economics Seminar [2 credits]
  • Law and the Entrepreneur [2 credits]
  • Local Government Law 
  • Natural Resources Law [3 credits]
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations [3 credits]
  • Real Estate Transactions [3 credits]
  • Real Estate Colloquium [1.5 credits]
  • Transactional Law Intensive [3 credits]
  • Trusts and Estates [3 credits]
  • Water Law [2 credits]

3. Write a 3-credit LL.M. thesis — normally, of 50-75 double-spaced pages — on a topic in real estate and/or environmental law under the direction of a Faculty member from the Program on Energy & Environmental Law or the Program on Real Estate Law.

4. Satisfy an activity requirement by attending 2 events sponsored by the Program on Real Estate Law, or the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate each semester. A list of exemplary events on Real Estate topics can be found here. To ascertain that this activity requirement has been met, students are required to turn in a one-page summary of the event.