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Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law

University of Miami School of Law, Rm. G-382
+1 (305) 284-4285
Snail mail E-mail Short bio Full c.v. SSRN page
Winner 2020 University of Miami Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

Current Interests

Current Writing

Recent or Future Writing & Projects

  • Surveillance
  • Anonymity
  • Regulation of Drones

Founding & Editing

Fellow & Advisor


The University of Miami is not actually in Miami, but in nearby Coral Gables. Here is the City Beautiful’s homepage and a map of our neighborhood and a close-up. Visit our webcams and see our weather.

At present, I plan to do all my teaching virtually in the 2022-23 academic year. I regret losing someof the personal element that comes with in-person meetings, but my doctors have told me to be very careful, as due to recent medical troubles I’m currently immunocompromised.

Fall 2023

Administrative Law (4 credits) — ONLINE – Fully Synchronous – M/T/Th 11:00am-12:20pm

Most laws that Congress passes require implementation. Very often implementation is via a federal agency. As a result, in the United States a multitude of governmental agencies exercise authority over the economy, and over the lives of every American. These agencies have the power to make legally binding rules (aka “regulations” or “red tape”), to issue valuable permits and licenses, to levy fines, and to adjudicate. Indeed, one agency, the Social Security Administration, adjudicates more cases every year than all the state and federal courts combined. This is a course about laws and rules that bind federal agencies, and thus about the extent to which federal agencies can make rules and decisions that bind us. It surveys the means by which people (and their lawyers) can challenge or influence administrative exercises of authority in the face of often broad or ambiguous delegations of authority from Congress, and in particular how and when agency decisions are subject to judicial review. Always lurking is the question of how we reconcile our dependence on an unelected, expert bureaucracy with our commitments to a government that is democratically accountable and legitimate.

Administrative Law is vitally important for anyone contemplating a practice that might involve federal regulations in any way. It is particularly valuable for students who are considering a practice involving highly regulated areas such as: Communications, Disability, Energy, Environment, Family and Child Services, Financial Markets or Securities, Immigration, Labor, Housing, or Land Use, but it is also relevant to almost every other area of practice.

Today, Administrative Law is undergoing a period of painful ferment as a series of Supreme Court decisions have upended decades of established doctrine. Changes are afoot as to how courts review agencies exercise of discretion, notably when it comes to statutory interpretation. More significantly, recent Supreme Court decisions threaten to upend the administrative state by greatly limiting the power Congress to give agencies broad remedial delegation, and also limiting the power of agencies to experiment or make new rules. Meanwhile, lower courts have been enjoining Biden Administration actions in ways unprecedented since at least the New Deal. Administrative Law is in turmoil — which makes it exciting, but also implicates fundamental questions about how we organize our government.

Grading will be based on participation, and on an 8-hour take-home final exam.

This course satisfies a requirement for Concentrations/Areas of Focus in Environmental Law and Social Justice & Public Interest

Spring 2024

Jurisprudence (3 credits) — ONLINE – Fully Synchronous – Mon, Wed 2pm-3:20

US law schools tend to offer one of two kinds of classes under the rubric “Jurisprudence”. One type, perhaps the more common, is either a history of the philosophy of law, or a thematic introduction to the philosophy of law. You can tell if you are in one of those classes because the first reading is likely to be Hammurabi’s code. This is the other sort of Jurisprudence class, Analytic Jurisprudence, a class in which we discuss the nature of law (and, occasionally, the law of nature). The course materials draw from legal philosophy, from domestic and international law, from social science, and from the news. I hope they will provide occasions for us to do at least three different things more or less simultaneously:

1. We will explore some basic questions relating to the ways in which “laws” are formed and recognized, including

  • What is a “law”?
  • Where do you find one?
  • How do you know one when you see it?
  • What do you do with a “law” once you have identified it?
  • Does “law” matter?

2. We will make, discuss, and evaluate a variety of legal arguments. Ideally, by participating actively in class you will learn how to make better arguments and how to recognize a number of standard moves that reoccur in legal arguments.

3. The choice and organization of the materials also encode an argument about one aspect of law: that the fundamental premises of public international law and domestic law are related. I hope you will form a view on this question by the end of the semester.

As this course relies heavily on discussion, class participation is a significant part of the grade. In addition to regular participation (which can be in-class or, optionally, online in comments on the class blog), students may be asked to lead the occasional class discussion. There will also be an in-class, open book, open notes, no internet, final exam.

AI Law (3 credits) Law 724A — ONLINE – Fully Synchronous – Tue, Thurs 11-12:20

˜Artificial Intelligence” (AI) includes a variety of technologies, notably GOT-chat,”machine learning” systems such as IBM’s Watson, which won a “Jeopardy” match, Google’s Ultra Go, which trounced a Go Master, and a plethora of systems designed to predict tumors, shopping habits, and even criminality. Robots increasingly feature varying degrees of autonomy, including systems like self-driving cars, military drones, and robo-surgeons. Behind many robots lies an embodied or even remotely connected AI, making the two new technologies intertwined.

AI presents a number of ethical, social, and legal challenges that are inciting a wide variety of responses. Representative examples of problems include: Who is responsible for invidious discrimination by an AI? What should the liability (and ethical) rules be for accidents involving autonomous vehicles? Is existing malpractice law ready for AI doctors? Should AIs and/or Robots have “rights”, whether human rights, animal rights, or some sui generis set of rights? Should we permit AI-controlled robots to carry lethal weapons? The course will thus treat AI Law as a distinct subject,and also attempt to put it into the context of the law’s ongoing encounter with new technology.

Most law courses seek to give you mastery of a relatively well-defined body of law. This course is different: it will seek to give you a taste of what it is like to work in areas with little or no clearly defined law (as such–the task then is to borrow or invent it), or new law, or where the law is in the process of being created and assembled–and where you could have a hand in making it, or interpreting it. Much like acrobatics without a net, this can be thrilling but it can also be scary. Crashes are always a possibility.

Grading will be based on class participation which depending on class size may involve a presentation or two, a short (five page) reaction paper during the term, and a circa 10-page final writing.

This course can satisfy a requirement for The Business of Innovation, Law and Technology: BILT Concentration

Contact me if you wish me to supervise a paper. I will gladly see you (for now, virtually) by appointment.

Past Teaching
  • Law & Games Seminar (MMPORGs, not “gaming”)
  • Intellectual Property in the Digital Era Seminar
  • Internet Governance Seminar

I have some unofficial advice about course selection in law school and some idiosyncratic writing tips. I’ve also got a half-written FAQ for people thinking about law school.



AI & Robots
Privacy & Cryptography E-Commerce Other
Internet Governance & Governance
Administrative Law

Latest drafts:

  • Towards Identity Bankruptcy (in progress).
  • Robot Law 2 (forthcoming 2024) (edited with Ryan Calo and Kristen Thomasen).

AI & Robots

Privacy & Cryptography

Internet Governance & Governance Generally


Administrative & Constitutional Law

Teaching, Blogging, Online Games, and Other Fun Stuff


Non-standard disclaimers may apply. Beware of these fallacies…and and these too! This personal Web page is not an official University of Miami Web page. See disclaimer.

Last modified: Jan. 27, 2024

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