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Christopher Serkin

Elisabeth H. and Granville S. Ridley Jr. Chair in Law
Professor of Management, Owen Graduate School of Management
Director, Master of Legal Studies Program

Christopher Serkin teaches and writes about land use and property law. His provocative scholarship addresses local governments, property theory, the Takings Clause, land use regulations and eminent domain. His articles have appeared in the Chicago, Columbia, Michigan, 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 2013, and a co-editor of a leading casebook, Land Use Controls (5th edition, 2020) with Robert Ellickson, Vicki Been and Roderick Hills. Professor Serkin was the law school's associate dean for academic affairs from 2019 to 2021 and its associate dean for research from 2015 to 2017. Before joining Vanderbilt’s law faculty, Serkin taught at Brooklyn Law School from 2005-13. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and New York University. 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, Dean Serkin was a law clerk 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.

Research Interests

Property, land use, local governments, the Takings Clause

Representative Publications

  • Land Use Controls: Cases and Materials, Aspen Publishers (5th edition, 2020) (with Robert Ellickson, Vicki Been and Roderick Hills)
  • "Regulation and the Geography of Inequality," 70 Duke Law Journal 1763 (2021) (with Ganesh Sitaraman and Morgan Ricks)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "A Case for Zoning," 96 Notre Dame Law Review 750 (2020)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "Energy Exactions," 104 Cornell Law Review 643 (2019) (with Jim Rossi). Winner of the 2020 Morrison Prize as the most impactful sustainability-related legal academic article published in North America during the previous year and selected for inclusion in the 2020 Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review.
    Full Text | WWW
  • "Prospective Grandfathering," 102 Minnesota Law Review 1019 (2018) (with Michael Vandenbergh)
    Full Text | WWW
  • "Penn Central Take Two," 92 Notre Dame Law Review 913 (2017)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Insuring Takings Claims," 111 Northwestern Law Review 75 (2016)
    Full Text | BEPRESS | WWW
  • "Passive Takings: State Inaction and the Duty to Protect Property," 113 Michigan Law Review 345 (2014)
    Full Text | SSRN | BEPRESS
  • "Public Entrenchment through Private Law: Binding Local Governments," 78 University of Chicago Law Review 879 (2011)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN | BEPRESS
  • "Existing Uses and the Limits of Land Use Regulations," 84  New York University Law Review 1222 (2009). Reprinted in 42 Land Use and Environmental Law Review (2011)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN | BEPRESS