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LAW 0574: Local Government Law
Spring 2020 • Section 01 • CRN 3953

Course Description

Local governments often affect our daily lives in far more concrete ways than do state governments or the federal government. Local laws and services can determine where you live, build, or work; how your child is going to be educated; and the quality of life in and outside your neighborhood. This course will explore the legal structure of local governments, including the sources of local government authority, limits on local government actions, the tension between state and local control, and the internal decision-making structures of local governments. We will study how local governments make decisions in connection with a variety of policy areas. We will read cases and draw on examples from around the country, with an emphasis on Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.

Through a combination of lecture and class discussion, we will try to evaluate how well local governments do in delivering services and improving the lives of their residents; consider whether it makes sense for more or fewer of these functions to be performed by local governments; and examine the mechanisms in place to promote well-informed decision making in the public interest. Topics of study likely will include home rule, preemption, internal separation of powers, legislative process, zoning, public education, government contracting, employment regulation, revenue generation, promotion of ethical decision-making, and the role of the local government lawyer.



Day/Time Location
T/Th 1:10-2:25 PM Klein 6A

Course Details

  • Richie Feder
Credit Hours

3 Credits



Course Type
  • Exam
Course Modality


Fulfills J.D. Requirement




Registration Info

Registration Notes

The title of the course will be changed from State/Local Government to just Local Government. 3 credit exam course.

Book List/Materials