Eric Biber, Professor

Closed (1) Comprehensive Assessment of Land Use Entitlements (CALES)

Applications for fall 2021 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: Raine Robichaud, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Required skills include strong note taking skills and experience working with data in excel format. 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 Raine Robichaud rrobichaud@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.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Related website: https://www.law.berkeley.edu/research/clee/research/land-use/getting-it-right/

Closed (2) Cannabis and Land Use Legal Research

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

Principal Investigators: Eric Biber, JD, MS and Moira O’Neill, JD

This project will generate a comprehensive dataset on how outdoor cannabis cultivators are navigating the local government approval process in selected California counties where most outdoor cannabis cultivation is occurring. The study’s unique dataset and related analysis will provide important and in-depth insights into how local governments regulate cannabis cultivation and the conditions local governments are imposing on outdoor cultivation operations. The analysis will help assess whether and to what extent local government regulation might deter cultivators from legal compliance, and whether current local regulation may undermine the goals of the statewide legalization initiative, Proposition 64, which sought to create a functional legal market for cannabis.

This empirical legal research project explores the relationship between local and state land use regulation and cannabis cultivation. We examine regulatory processes in selected California jurisdictions to understand how the permitting process and land use regulations — be it zoning or environmental review—affect the establishment of legal cannabis cultivation in California.


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 data collection. Opportunities for data analysis, data visualization, 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 training and orientation session and as needed check-in calls. 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.
, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Required skills include strong note taking skills and experience working with data in excel format. Desired skills include experience with reading legal texts, working with database tools (especially STATA), 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 Raine Robichaud rrobichaud@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.