James Kushner

Professor of Law Emeritus

B.B.A., Finance and Economics, 1967, University of Miami; J.D., 1968, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Member, California and Missouri State Bars


James Kushner is an internationally recognized expert in land use, community development and constitutional law whose numerous publications stand as some of the most highly regarded treatises on the art, science and law of urban planning. Among his most recent books are Global Climate Change and the Road to Extinction, Healthy Cities, The Post-Automobile City, Comparative Urban Planning Law, and the latest editions of Subdivision Law and Growth Management, Housing And Community Development, Land Use Regulation: Cases and Materials, Government Discrimination: Equal Protection Law and Litigation, and Fair Housing: Discrimination In Real Estate, Community Development and Revitalization.

"I try to convey to my students early on that central to a lawyer's role is service - to one's client and to the community."

Early in his career, Professor Kushner served as director of housing for the Office of Economic Opportunity in Ohio, as managing attorney of the Law Reform Unit of the Legal Aid and Defender Society of Greater Kansas City, and as project attorney for the Earl Warren Legal Institute's National Housing and Economic Development Law Project in Berkeley.

While serving in those capacities, Professor Kushner also taught as a member of the adjunct faculties of several law schools. He joined Southwestern's full-time faculty in 1975, and in recent years was honored with the Buchalter and Rosenberg Professorships at the law school. In 2011, Professor Kushner completed a Fulbright Scholarship as Visiting Professor in the Fulbright Chair, Politecnico di Torino (within the graduate school of Urban Planning), in Turin, Italy. He has also been in demand as a visiting professor at law schools around the country, as well as the University of Virginia School of Architecture, Dortmund University School of Regional Planning, and the University of Utrecht and Saxion University, Deventer, in the Netherlands (the latter for a program of Greenwich University, London and Medway, United Kingdom). He says, "I try to convey to my students early on that central to a lawyer's role is service - to one's client and to the community."

Over the past decade, Professor Kushner has served as an advisor on fair housing enforcement, law and policy to the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development and other government entities. A former president of the Board of Directors of the Fair Housing Congress of Southern California, he has served on numerous executive boards, including those of the Association of American Law Schools Sections on Constitutional Law, Local Government Law, and Poverty Law. He became Professor Emeritus in 2011.