James M. Chen

James M. Chen
[Hi-Res Photo]
Justin Smith Morrill Chair in Law, Professor of Law
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 359
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

  • Biography

    An attorney and professor of law with a quarter-century of experience in the law of regulated industries, economics, and regulatory policy, James Ming Chen holds the Justin Smith Morrill Chair in Law at Michigan State University College of Law and is of counsel to the Technology Law Group, a Washington, DC–based firm specializing in telecommunications law. Professor Chen is a prolific scholar and leader in the legal academy. He served as dean of the University of Louisville School of Law from 2007 to 2012. In November 2012, National Jurist magazine named Chen one of the 25 most influential people in legal education.

    Professor Chen is a highly productive and influential scholar whose works spans topics such as administrative law, agricultural law, constitutional law, economic regulation, environmental law, industrial policy, legislation, and natural resources law. He is the coauthor of Disasters and the Law: Katrina and Beyond (Aspen Publishers, 2006), the first book to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal issues surrounding natural disasters. This path-breaking book is now in its second edition under the title Disaster Law and Policy. Professor Chen is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served since 2010 as a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.

  • Degrees

    J.D. 1991, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School; M.A. 1987, Emory University; B.A. 1987, summa cum laude, Emory University

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses
    • Agricultural Law
      Students will learn about the regulatory framework of the food and agriculture sector at the federal, state, and local levels and how the application of this framework impacts all citizens. This includes the production, processing, and distribution of food, fiber, and other products that make up a large portion of the economies of the nation and the State of Michigan. Students will learn about the origins and impacts of these regulatory components and how evolving trends and public opinion are changing the food and agriculture sector
    • Climate Change Law and Policy
      This course will expose students to scientific evidence in support of climate change and the impacts to human health, natural resources, and human development; international law and policy developments, with an introduction to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and a discussion of the Kyoto Protocol and post-Kyoto international action; exploration of U.S. efforts to address climate impacts through national legislation; review of the judiciary's reaction to climate change; examination of efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act and other federal laws; and assess regional, state and local responses to climate change focusing, in particular, on their relationship to national law and policy. Students will participate in a negotiation exercise comprised of several groups with distinct interests and perspectives on climate change. This exercise is intended to enhance students' understanding of the policy constraints, political dynamics and practical realities associated with developing climate change law and policy. Students will learn about corporate responses to climate change, considering the equity, human rights and environmental justice impacts of climate change, and the challenges linked to transitioning from a high carbon to a low carbon economy.
    • Constitutional Law I
      (Formerly DCL 171) An introduction to American constitutional law. This course surveys the distribution of national powers among the Congress, the president and the federal judiciary. After examining the fundamentals of judicial review and its limitations, the course considers the delegated powers of Congress and the tensions between Congress and the president in the exercise of national powers. The course concludes with an overview of governmental immunities. Some sections of Regulatory State and constitutional Law I are taught as a combined class.
    • Regulatory State
      This course introduces students to the legal rules and principles governing the modern regulatory state, including statutory interpretation, justifications for regulation, how agencies implement their statutory mandates, and how courts review agency regulation and action. The course provides a foundation for upper-level courses in Legislation, Administrative Law, and a host of public law courses. Some sections of Regulatory State and Constitutional Law I are taught as a combined class.
  • Notes
  • Bar Admission(s)

    District of Columbia, Virginia