Law 282 - Education and the Law

Stuart Biegel

Stuart Biegel

Lecturer in Law
Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
UCLA Faculty Since 1989
Course Description:

An examination of recent high profile, education-related disputes at both the K-12 and higher ed levels. Topics to be explored include campus safety and privacy, student freedom of expression, technology-related issues and concerns, religion in the schools, cyber-bullying, and accountability for off-campus behavior.  Access to a quality education will be examined by analyzing disputes arising at every stage of the education process, from issues regarding practices that may engender a “school-to-prison pipeline” to the ongoing legal battles regarding race-conscious policies, the "Every Student Succeeds" Act, K-12 teacher tenure, school sports, the unmet needs of English language learners, the misuse of the special education system, the impact of the burgeoning charter school movement, and the rights of undocumented students. 

In addition, the course will explore the future of impact litigation and court-mandated education reform, examining the experience of the San Francisco public schools under the controversial and wide-ranging federal consent decree monitored by Prof. Biegel for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. 

Law students in this class will have the opportunity to choose either a paper option or a final exam for the 3 units of Law 282.  The course paper can be structured to satisfy the SAW requirement.  Students choosing to write the paper will identify a problem that is reflected in the course content and make the case for addressing the problem by changing current law via litigation and/or legislation.            

LAW 282 FIELD COMPONENT OPTION (via Law 340) - Law students in this class will also have the option of signing up for an additional 1-2 units of independent study via Law 340 in order that they might examine how many of these procedural and substantive issues play out in a real-life setting. Those who select this option will have the opportunity to meet with education professionals, visit local educational institutions, and analyze both the effectiveness of recent strategies for change and the implications for attorneys practicing in this area and prospective plaintiffs contemplating legal action down the road.  Completion of the 2-unit version of this option will satisfy the SAW requirement

Law 282 students who wish to enroll in the field component option via Law 340 may do so during the first week of classes in August, and may set up a meeting with Prof. Biegel to discuss their ideas for a field component paper before the class begins on September 24th, should they wish to do so.

As stated in the schedule of classes, this course is cross-listed with the education school and is thus open to advanced law students, LLMs, and graduate students in education. The class will meet on Monday and Wednesday from September 24th through November 19th, 2 two-hour sessions a week. For additional information regarding Law 282 and/or the Law 340 field component option, please do not hesitate to contact Professor Biegel at

Course Learning Outcomes:

• Enhanced Knowledge Base

Students will become familiar with the major issues in the area of education law, and they will develop a deeper understanding of the interplay between the legal community and the education community, including but not limited to how the law can be employed to shape educational policy and help address the major problems facing K-12 and postsecondary educators today.

To that end, we will focus on mapping out the parameters of this shifting territory, discerning relevant legal principles, and seeking to ascertain the implications of recent developments for members of the legal community and the education community. The course will be divided into four major areas of study: (1) Campus Safety and Privacy, (2) The Right to Equal Educational Opportunity, (3) Educational Quality and the Law, and (4) Religion, Morality, and Values.

• Building and Strengthening Relevant Skills

Law students will fine tune their legal analytical skills, their research skills, and their problem-solving skills. They will also examine how the major areas of law that comprise education law (i.e. Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Procedure, Remedies, and Torts) often require substantially different approaches to litigation and legislation.

The students will strengthen their oral and written communication skills, including but not limited to being able to make the case for a particular side in a legal and/or a policy dispute. They will also develop an expertise in recognizing the interplay between cases, statutes, and constitutional provisions on a federal and a state level.