It is next to impossible to practice law today without dealing with administrative agencies, federal or state, or the law they create. Indeed, more cases are adjudicated in administrative bodies than in the courts. The substantive law that is created and implemented by agencies is the subject matter of individual courses such as environmental law, securities regulation, taxation, and banking. It is the procedural/structural law that governs the creation and implementation of substantive law by agencies that is the focus of Administrative Law.
We will discuss the different types of functions undertaken by agencies, for example, rulemaking and adjudication in all its forms and how those disparate functions determine the appropriate structure of decisionmaking. At the federal level, where we will focus our attention, the procedures that apply originate in a variety of sources, including the United States Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act and other statutes, and agency rules. There is often a complex interplay among these sources of law, which will be one of the topics we will explore. Another is the relationship of agencies to the Chief Executive and the Legislature, an area that implicates important constitutional doctrines, statutes, and executive orders. Finally, we will spend considerable time on the availability, timing, and scope of judicial review of agency action, including the doctrines of standing, ripeness, exhaustion of administrative remedies, and judicial deference to agency findings of fact, interpretations of law, and exercises of discretionary power.