Public Law

KU Law offers a range of courses in public law, giving students a grounding in administrative law, government law, legislation and public policy.

Overview

All law students should be familiar with public law. Students who are in private practice will inevitably represent clients who have a dispute with a local, state or federal governmental agency. Many private practitioners specialize in some area of public law, such as business regulation, employment law, environmental law, local government, natural resources or social regulation. Students employed as government attorneys will specialize in a public law area.

To prepare students to practice public law, KU Law offers a curriculum of gateway and substantive courses in several major public law areas. Through clinics and field placements – including the Elder Law Field Placement, general Field Placement Program or the Legal Aid Clinic – students can represent or assist clients and gain hands-on experience in public law. Skills simulation courses in this area include First Amendment Advocacy and the Public Policy Practicum.

For students seeking an immersive experience, the 6th Semester in Washington, D.C. Program offers a pathway to leadership in public service. Students in the program spend their final semester of law school living, learning and working in the nation’s capital. In addition to taking relevant courses, students work nearly full-time for a government agency or nonprofit.

Public Law Curriculum Guide

Recommended Gateway Courses:

  • Administrative Law
  • Legislation and Statutory Interpretation

Hands-On Learning Courses:

  • Elder Law Field Placement
  • Field Placement Program
  • First Amendment Advocacy
  • Legal Aid Clinic
  • Public Policy Practicum

KU offers courses in several major public law areas, including business regulation, employment law, environmental law, local government, and natural resources regulation. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) cover both public law and private law. Course offerings include: 

Antitrust Law:

  • Antitrust Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Media and the First Amendment
  • Securities Regulation

Employment Law:

  • Employment Discrimination Law
  • Employment Law
  • Labor Law

Elder Law: 

  • Introduction to Elder Law

Environmental Law:

  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Law Seminar

Health Law:

  • Health Law and Policy
  • Healthcare Regulation

Local Government:

  • Local Government Law

Natural Resources Law:

  • Agricultural Law and Contemporary Food Production and Safety Issues
  • Water Law*

Social Regulation:

  • Federal Indian Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Sovereignty, Self-Determination and the Indigenous Nations

Course descriptions

KU Law is home to two student-edited academic journals. The Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy specializes in publishing articles related to public law. The Kansas Law Review publishes both private law and public law articles. Students participate in write-on competition as part of the staff selection process for either publication.

Questions?

Richard Levy
J.B. Smith Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law
levy@ku.edu
785-864-9220