Section 1, Spring 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 73/75
Credits: 4
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • MTWR
  • 1415-1515
  • WB152
01/23/2023 04/27/2023
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

Statutes and administrative regulations account for much of modern American law, and lawyers therefore need a sophisticated understanding of how courts interpret written laws. This course tries to take a systematic look at both the theory and the practice of statutory interpretation. Among other topics, we will consider (1) debates about the interplay between the text and the apparent purposes of a statute, (2) debates about the use of legislative history, (3) some of the canons of construction that lawyers and judges frequently invoke, (4) principles about how statutes interact with each other and with other forms of law, (5) the circumstances in which courts defer to administrative agencies in the interpretation of federal statutes, (6) the circumstances in which federal statutes preempt state law, and (7) the potential for the proper application or interpretation of statutes to change over time. The course will focus entirely on statutory interpretation; we will consider the legislative process only as it bears on interpretation of the resulting statutes.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): Flex
Description: Flex exam at end of semester.

Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, April 21, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 30, 11:59 PM