Eric Biber, Professor

Closed (1) Getting it Right: Examining the Local Land Use Entitlement Process in California to Inform Policy and Process

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

California's housing crisis is well known, and in large part attributed to the inadequate supply of housing across multiple income levels. This is an empirical legal research project that explores the relationship between local and state land use regulation and housing supply. We will examine entitlement processes in selected California jurisdictions to understand how individual land use regulations— be it zoning, specific plan, environmental or design review—impact development approval timelines and procedural and substantive standards.


Undergraduate Research Apprentices will be required to read background literature, which will include public policy, planning, and legal texts. The URAPs will primarily assist with interview transcription. Opportunities for data collection, data analysis, mapping in ArcGis, and other legal research are also available depending on the URAP's background skills and experience.

Through the process, URAPs will observe and learn from both law students and law faculty on how to gather relevant legal texts, how to read legal texts, and how to contextualize related qualitative data. URAPs are expected to participate in one on-campus training and orientation session and weekly check-in calls. Participants must also submit weekly time sheets. Time commitment is negotiable, but a 3-5 hour per week minimum is preferred. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in your removal from the project.


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Giulia Gualco-Nelson, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Required skills include strong note taking skills and experience working with data in excel format. We prefer but do not require a willingness to commit to the project for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. Desired skills include experience with reading legal texts, working with data in mapping and data visualization interfaces, working with secondary, big, and open data to gather data from the American Community Survey for census tracts, and experience with ArcGIS. Please apply through the online interface, and send an additional email with a resume, brief writing sample, and one reference to Giulia Gualco-Nelson ggualconelson@berkeley.edu. No reference letter is required; students need only submit the name of one person who supervised them in a job, internship or other research activity. Please provide their name, title, email address, phone number, and a brief description of your relationship. Example: John Smith, Project Manager, ABC Company, johnsmith@abc.com, 555-555-5555, Mr. Smith supervised my work as an intern at ABC Company during the summer of 2015.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated