Skip Navigation

LAW 0574: Local Government Law
Spring 2021 • 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 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 consider whether it makes sense for more or fewer government functions to be performed at the local level; we will examine the mechanisms in place to promote well-informed decision making in the public interest; and we will examine the factors that go into local government policy-making. Topics of study likely will include home rule, preemption, internal separation of powers, land use regulation, public education, government contracting, housing and homelessness, revenue generation, promotion of ethical decision-making, and the role of the local government lawyer.
You will be evaluated on the quality of your class participation (10%); one short paper discussing a local government meeting of your choosing (30%); and one cumulative final exam (60%).


Day/Time Location
T/Th 1:10-2:25 PM Online Meeting

Course Details

  • Richie Feder
Credit Hours

3 Credits



Course Type
  • Exam
Course Modality


Fulfills J.D. Requirement




Registration Info

Registration Notes

3 credit exam course.

Book List/Materials