David Reiss

Professor of Law
Research Director, Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE)

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-0636 |  Email  | CV
Areas of Expertise
Real Estate and Real Estate Finance Law
Consumer Financial Services Law
Rating Agencies Regulation
Community Development
Education
B.A., Williams College
J.D., New York University School of Law

Clinic - Community Development

Recommended: Corporations and Real Estate Transactions

Brooklyn is going through a dramatic transformation. Industrial sites are adapting to rapid changes in the local and global economy and new residential and commercial projects are regularly springing up in many neighborhoods. The Community Development Clinic represents community organizations that wish to help shape the future of these neighborhoods. Students in the Clinic represent community development corporations, cultural institutions, affordable housing providers and small businesses that serve underrepresented communities. Typical activities for Clinic students include drafting business formation documents; assisting in the formation of joint ventures; negotiating the leasing, purchasing, financing and renovating of real estate; and drafting, analyzing and negotiating contracts. Students in the Clinic help these organizations develop, own and operate a range of service providers and facilities which may include housing for individuals with special needs cultural centers and recreational space. The Clinic's goal is to ensure that important, but smaller, voices are heard as Brooklyn communities are rethought, rezoned and redeveloped.

Seminar Credits: 2.00

The seminar is designed to help students reflect on ethical considerations in a transactional practice; Reflect on concerns particular to entities operating in low-income and/or minority neighborhoods and appreciate goals and commitments of non-profit organizations working in those communities; Become familiar with resources for researching legal and practical problems concerning non-profit and for-profit clients; Reflect on clients' problems from various perspectives, such as tax, finance and accounting, and develop interdisciplinary recommendations; Improve general lawyering skills, particularly clear writing, cogent analysis, negotiation and client counseling; and practice skills particular to transactional work and to the representation of organizations.

Enrollment Notes: The clinic enrolls students each semester.

Property

This course introduces students to the laws governing real and personal property transfer and ownership. Topics covered may include the historical development of various kinds of present and future interests in property; the sale and financing of real estate; landlord-tenant law; land use regulation; gifts of personal property; and non-traditional property rights.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade only. Final exam.

Property Law Colloquium

This course will allow students to explore the theoretical underpinnings of significant debates in property law and urban policy. We will discuss topical articles with prominent scholars, practitioners and government officials. Possible topics include the appropriate use of eminent domain, local initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing, the appropriate level of environmental review of land use issues, the role of property taxation in the provision of municipal services, the nature of neighborhood change, abandonment and gentrification, the globalization of real estate finance, brownfield redevelopment, and,exclusionary and inclusionary zoning.

In class weeks, students will learn the background necessary to discuss the assigned article with the presenter and will submit a short paper critiquing the assigned article. In colloquium weeks, students will attend the colloquium and discuss the article with the presenter.

Admission to the colloquium is through a written application available from the instructor.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Students required to write a series of short papers.

Real Estate Practice

Prerequisite: Property

This is a practical course in which the student has the opportunity to apply the legal principles learned in the basic property course to a modern real estate transaction. A complete sale is examined, from the listing of the property with a broker to the closing of title. Negotiation, customs, professional ethics and protocol, and the drafting of appropriate documents are the focal points. Brokerage contracts, contracts of sale, surveys, mortgages, title examinations and reports, and the clearing of title objections are considered in detail. Students who have earned credit for Real Estate Transactions and Finance may not earn credit for this course.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail only. Final exam or take-home examm.