Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

257.4 sec. 001 - An Interdisciplinary Approach to Land Development and Investment (Spring 2020)

Instructor: Bill Falik  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 3

Due to COVID-19, law school classes were graded as credit/no pass in spring 2020.


    W 6:25 PM - 9:20 PM
    Location: Law 132
    From January 22, 2020
    To April 24, 2020

Course Start: January 22, 2020
Course End: April 24, 2020
Class Number (1Ls): 31521
Class Number: 31521

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 16
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 16
As of: 06/16 11:02 PM

Law 257.4 Sec. 1/ Haas MBA 285, EWMBA 285/CED 290-02/GSPP 290-23
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Land Development and Investment

This is an excellent time to learn about, and ultimately invest in and plan, real estate development. This course is designed as an interdisciplinary approach for business, law, planning, public policy, and engineering students to learn about every aspect of the land development process, focusing substantially on development in California. In this regard, this course goes toward satisfying the requirements of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Real Estate (IGCRE), offered through the graduate programs at the Haas School of Business, College of Environmental Design (including MRED+D), and Berkeley School of Law.

The primary focus of this course is on actual practice rather than theory. Although the course will focus on real estate and land investment, the thrust will be on deal making, strategic thinking, and negotiation, whether it be on acquisition, financing, environmental review, entitlement, obtaining community support, or ultimate disposition of a successful project. Law students will learn to evaluate business risks, and business, planning, public policy, and engineering students will gain a conceptual framework for understanding legal issues which are critical to the real estate development, land entitlement and deal making process.

The course will also introduce the use of green technology and the inclusion of affordable housing in the development process. On a weekly basis, it will be mandatory for students to participate in interdisciplinary study groups to work together to resolve real-life real estate problems. In other words, students (who will be randomly assigned to a balanced group comprised of one or more law, business, planning, public policy, and engineering students) will meet via skype, google chat, teleconference, or ideally in person to discuss and prepare the responses to the weekly study questions. Each group member will take turns leading their group each week; however, each group member will be responsible for participating regardless of their turn at lead. In the past, many of my students have commented that this collegial interdisciplinary approach was one of the most valuable aspects of the course.

The course grade will be based in part upon study group and class participation and primarily upon take-home written essays assigned at the end of the semester. There will be frequent guest lecturers who are some of the leading experts in the deal-making, real estate planning, land-use, environmental, and investment fields. Topics which will be covered include:

• acquisition strategy and documentation;
• capital formation and deal structure;
• legal entity selection and use of LLCs;
• developing a creative and sustainable land plan;
• smart growth vs. greenfield development;
• affordable housing as a project component;
• California and federal environmental and Endangered Species laws;
• financing critical infrastructure;
• responding to litigation, initiatives, and referenda and gaining community support;
• vesting entitlements through Development Agreements;
• designing an exit strategy; and
• tax issues involving dealer vs. investor status.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend in order not to be dropped.

Basic familiarity with real estate concepts at an introductory level.

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Experiential Requirement.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Business Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Simulation Courses

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