Who is teaching Real Estate Transactions?

Professors:  Celeste Hammond and Virginia Harding

Professor Celeste Hammond is best known for teaching a transactional approach to commercial real estate law.  She has published two casebooks looking at commercial real estate law from that perspective.  Commercial Leasing: A Transactional Primer, 2nd ed (Hammond with Bogart) will be the text for the course.  Professor Hammond practiced law for eight years before joining the faculty at John Marshall Law School.  She has been a visitor at Loyola University Law School where she taught this course several years ago.  Professor Hammond is committed to teaching law in the context of practice, especially with an emphasis on transactional skills training.  Thus, she brings Virginia Harding with her as a team teacher.   Professor Hammond is active in real estate bar associations and has been elected as a fellow to American College of Real Estate Lawyers and to Counselors of Real Estate (CRE).   Both Professor Hammond and Ms. Harding have taught on-line aspects of their courses.  They are enthusiastic about teaching at Louisville using this new technology.  Her bio can be found at www.jmls.edu.   She encourages prospective students to contact her at 7hammond@jmls.edu to discuss the course.

Virginia M. Harding
Practicing Attorney – Gould & Ratner LLP, Chicago

Virginia Harding is a real estate attorney whose clients have developed office parks and master planned communities.  She has been involved with all aspects of client projects starting with land acquisition and concluding when the properties are sold or leased.  She has worked on real estate transactions throughout the country.  As an adjunct professor she has taught an Advanced JD Property course and a Drafting and Negotiations Workshop.  She has also team taught with Professor Hammond using the casebook and materials that will be used for the Real Estate Transactions Course.  She brings the insights and experiences of a practicing attorney into the classroom.  Her complete bio can be found at www.gouldratner.com
Course description:  In the fall,  Real Estate Transactions will focus on the commercial lease transaction.  Leasing is one of the skills that all attorneys need to develop because clients either own properties that they wish to lease or clients are seeking to lease space or a building for their own use.  While everyone learns about landlord tenant law as part of their Property course, the only form of lease that law students and young attorneys are most likely to have seen is an apartment lease.  Every practicing attorney remembers the first time they were asked to review a lease for a client.  First the instrument was long and almost every clause seemed to be complicated and confusing.  What was important and what not?  This course will make use of a form office lease developed by attorneys from the American Bar Association, Leasing committee.   The course will give students an opportunity to examine an office lease in detail.  It will provide insights as to what is important to the landlord and what is important to the tenant, what business motivations support the goals of the parties to the lease.  Students will develop a number of critical skills:  the art of interviewing and asking clients questions; drafting lease provisions and modifying lease clauses to reflect the terms of the deal.  This course will be taught using a variety of distance learning techniques - video teleconferencing, materials and lectures posted on Blackboard, e-mails and conference calls.  Students will complete some assignments individually and will complete others as group projects.  In addition to written assignments, students will also do a lease negotiation.  There will be a final take-home project rather than a final exam.