A passion for law

Mark Fenster professor, UF Research Foundation Professor

By Lindy McCollum Brounly

Mark Fenster is serious about administrative law. It’s an area in which he admits his scholarship and teaching hold “a strangely obsessive joy,” and he takes pleasure in imparting this knowledge and expertise to his students.

“I always tell students on the first day of my administrative law course that this will likely be the most boring, complicated, and abstract class they’ll take in law school,” Fenster said. “But, perhaps the most important of all given the size of our federal, state and local administrative state…. I think by the end of the semester most of my students view the course as challenging but fascinating, and maybe even a little fun.”

Fenster’s teaching and scholarship include property, land use, administrative law, intellectual property, torts and legal and cultural theory, and he is widely published. Since joining the UF Law faculty as an assistant professor in 2001, Fenster has proven to be a rising star — he achieved the rank of full professor in 2007, was tapped with a prestigious University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship in 2008, and, on May 15, assumed responsibilities as associate dean for faculty development, succeeding Professor Christine Klein in the position.

Fenster’s strong background in research and scholarship will be of tremendous benefit to the college as he assumes duties as associate dean for faculty development, and he’ll be responsible for coordinating the college’s enrichment series and mentoring program, tracking faculty scholarship, and promoting the college’s newly-launched SSRN journal, located at www.ssrn.com/ link/U-Florida-LEG.html.

“My own research asks how our administrative process can best balance our need to inform the public effectively of government actions against the need for government to operate effectively, and how constitutional rights of property and due process limit, but don’t cripple, government’s
authority to regulate and create regulatory procedures.”

Fenster is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he served as editor of the Yale Law Review, and he clerked for Judge Carlos Lucero of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals following his graduation from Yale. Prior to joining the UF Law faculty, Fenster was an environmental and land use law fellow for Shute Mihaly & Weinberger in San Francisco, Calif. In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Fenster is the author of Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture and has published numerous law review articles.