Christopher Serkin

Professor of Law

Christopher Serkin teaches and writes about land use and property law. His provocative scholarship addresses local property law, the Taking Clause, land use regulations and eminent domain. His articles have appeared in the Chicago, Columbia, New York University, Notre Dame and Northwestern University law reviews, among others. He is the author of The Law of Property, a Concept and Insights book published in 2012, and a co-editor of a leading casebook, Land Use Controls (4th edition, 2013) with Robert Ellickson, Vicki Been and Roderick Hills. Before joining Vanderbilt’s law faculty, Professor Serkin taught at Brooklyn Law School from 2005-13. He began his academic career at New York University School of Law, where he taught for two years as an acting assistant professor in its Lawyering Program. After earning his J.D. at the University of Michigan School of Law, where he was a Clarence Darrow Scholar, Professor Serkin clerked for Judge John M. Walker Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Judge J. Garvan Murtha of the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont. Before joining the legal academy, he practiced law as an associate with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and served as a consultant to the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure’s Subcommittee on Style, part of the standing rules committee for the judiciary.

Research Interests

Eminent domain, local land use law

Representative Publications

  • Land Use Controls: Cases and Materials, Aspen Publishers (2013) (with Robert Ellickson, Vicki Been and Roderick Hills)
  • The Law of Property, Concepts & Insights Series, Foundation Press (2013)
  • "Passive Takings: State Inaction and the Duty to Protect Property," 113 Michigan Law Review (forthcoming 2014-15)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Suing Courts," 79 University of Chicago Law Review 553 (2012) (with Frederic Bloom)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Public Entrenchment Through Private Law: Binding Local Governments," 78 University of Chicago Law Review 879 (2011)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Condemning Religion: RLUIPA and the Politics of Eminent Domain," 85 Notre Dame Law Review 1 (2009) (with Nelson Tebbe)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Existing Uses and the Limits of Land Use Regulations," 84  New York University Law Review 1222 (2009); reprinted in 42 Land Use & Environmental Law Review (2011)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Local Property Law: Adjusting the Scale of Property Protection," 107 Columbia Law Review 883 (2007); reprinted in 2008 Zoning and Planning Law Handbook 341 (2008) (Patricia E. Salkin, editor)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Big Differences for Small Governments: Local Governments and the Takings Clause," 82 New York University Law Review 1624 (2006)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "The Meaning of Value: Assessing Just Compensation for Regulatory Takings," 99 Northwestern University Law Review 677 (2005)
    Full Text | SSRN

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Contact Information

615-322-2615 (voice)
615-322-6691 (fax)

Curriculum Vitae



J.D. University of Michigan
B.A. Yale University