Iowa Law offers a variety of courses focused on the constitutional roles of the branches of government, the protection of constitutional rights and liberties, and the protection of civil rights arising from constitutional mandates of equality. Building upon the first required course in constitutional law—Constitutional Law I, which focuses on the federal government’s core powers—the courses in this area of study explore the constitutional structure of our federal government; the federal government’s relationship to the states and to the people; and ways in which individuals are constitutionally or statutorily protected from adverse treatment. Students interested in social-justice issues have a variety of courses available to them, including (among others) Human Rights in the World Community, Critical Race Theory, Sex-Based Discrimination, Law in the Muslim World, and many relevant seminars. This coursework prepares students for a variety of career paths, including as government and public interest lawyers, judicial law clerks, appellate specialists, lawmakers, and civil rights litigators. 

Faculty at Iowa write on state and federal constitutional law, administrative law, legislation, and race and gender issues. These faculty are leading experts on both theory and practice, and their courses and scholarship address fundamental constitutional issues as well as methods of interpretation, free speech and religious liberty, the scope of congressional power, the institutional dynamics and history of the Supreme Court, and the role of law in addressing all forms of discrimination. Other faculty research related to this area of study addresses agency law, immigration law, environmental law, financial regulation, employment regulation, and health regulation. 

Curriculum Guide

The foundational constitutional law courses are Constitutional Law I and Constitutional Law II.  

Constitutional Law I introduces students to the role of the judicial process in structuring the limits within which our society operates, and gives them an understanding of the relationships among the three branches of the federal government (separation of powers) and the allocation of power between the federal government and the states (federalism). It is required in the Spring term of a student’s first year.  

Constitutional Law II considers the limits on governmental power imposed by the federal constitution for the protection of individuals’ rights and liberties, including due process, equal protection, freedom of expression, and religious liberty. Constitutional Law II is required prior to graduation.  

Other courses build upon the foundation of Constitutional Law I. Administrative Law explores the constitutional and statutory powers of and limitations on regulatory agencies, especially the limitations imposed by procedural rules. Federal Courts considers the role that federal courts play in our system of government, with specific emphasis on the federal courts’ original and appellate jurisdiction. Legislation examines the law-making process and methods of legal interpretation. Other advanced courses on constitutional and administrative law address specific issues affecting individual rights, including (among others) State Constitutional Law, Basic Federal Income Tax, Business Associations, Criminal Procedure: Investigation, Criminal Procedure: Adjudication, Employment Law, Environmental Law, Federal Indian Law, Health Law, Immigration Law and Policy, Labor Law, and Securities Regulation. 

A unique opportunity at Iowa Law is the Supreme Court Seminar, in which a group of students act as justices presiding over nine cases then pending before the United States Supreme Court. Students in this course read briefs, research the relevant law, debate the merits, and ultimately write opinions for these cases. 

Courses & Programs

  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law I
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Federal Courts 
  • Legislation

  • Bankruptcy 
  • Basic Federal Income Tax 
  • Business Associations 
  • Conflict of Laws 
  • Criminal Procedure: Adjudication  
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigation 
  • Critical Race Theory 
  • Debt Transactions 
  • Election Law 
  • Employment Law 
  • Environmental Law 
  • Federal Criminal Practice 
  • Federal Indian Law 
  • Health Law 
  • Human Rights in the World Community 
  • Immigration Law and Policy 
  • Labor Law 
  • Media Law 
  • Natural Resource Law 
  • Property Law II: Land Use 
  • Public Health Law 
  • Securities Regulation 
  • Sex-Based Discrimination  
  • State and Local Tax 
  • State Constitutional Law 
  • Supreme Court Seminar 
  • Survey of Work Law 
  • Veterans Benefits Law 

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Centers & Institutes

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