Course Regulation - Law 629
Instructor Barak Orbach
Units 3 (Graded)


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Lawyers are “messengers of regulation.” They negotiate regulatory reforms, draft regulations, enforce regulations, assist their clients in complying with regulations, lobby for and against regulations, and often challenge the validity of regulations. Yet, “regulation” is one of the most misunderstood concepts in modern legal thinking. The need for the study of regulation in law school cannot be overstated.


This course equips students with critical analytical tools needed in today's legal practice and complex business environment.  It explains what regulation is about and why it is so controversial.  During the semester we’ll examine why and how the state regulates, and learn the meaning of important regulatory concepts such as risk, uncertainty, preferences, paternalism, bans, bounded rationality, police powers, cost-benefit analysis, earmarks, externalities, moral hazard, and public goods.  Judges, lawyers, and scholars regularly use these terms, but as we'll see they do not always understand their meaning.


This course serves as a foundation for legal practice and the mechanics of substantive areas of law. It is designed to offer deeper understanding of courses that focus on particular regulatory areas, such as administrative law, antitrust, bankruptcy, constitutional law, corporate law, environmental law, health law, insurance law, and securities regulation. 

For more information about the course and related materials see

Barak Orbach, Regulation:  Why and How the State Regulates (Foundation Press, 2012)

Course Format  
Written Assignments


Type of Exam

Short Essays

Basis for grading  
Additional Comments  
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