Stephanie M. Stern

Professor Stephanie M. Stern
Professor of Law
565 W. Adams St., Room 707
Chicago, IL 60661


  • J.D., Yale Law School
  • B.A., Brown University


Professor Stern researches and teaches in the areas of property law, housing policy, land use and sustainability, and environmental law.  Her research focuses on how residential protections in property and land use law can frustrate environmental sustainability, affordability, and inclusion.  Her work often applies behavioral science to reconsider property rules and resource allocation decisions, such as in her recent book The Psychology of Property Law (2020).  Her scholarship has been published in the Michigan Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and leading peer-reviewed journals.  She has also been a visiting professor at Yale Law School and Hebrew University.  At Chicago-Kent, Professor Stern leads the land use/sustainability division of the environmental program and participates in the American Planning Association, Law and Planning division and the Wanger Center for Sustainable Energy Research.  

Prior to joining the Chicago-Kent faculty, Professor Stern practiced property and environmental law at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP and clerked for the Honorable Kermit Lipez on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  She also served as a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and a research fellow at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy.  Professor Stern is a graduate of the Yale Law School and Brown University. 

Selected Publications


The Psychology of Property Law (with D. Lewinsohn-Zamir) (2020).


Untransit: Remote Work and the Transformation of Land Use Law, Stan. L & Pol’y Rev.__ (forthcoming 2021).

Highly Bounded Rationality in Residential Property Transactions (forthcoming book chapter in Research Handbook of Law and Psychology, Hollander-Blumoff ed.)

Gruen v. GruenA Feminist Re-Writein Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions (Rodriguez-Dodd & Marty-Nelson eds. forthcoming 2021).

A Social Norm Theory of Regulating Housing Speech Under the Fair Housing Act, 84 Mo. L. Rev. 435 (2019).

Rent Control Sharing, 13 Law & Ethics of Human Rights 141 (2019) (symposium contribution).

Behavioral Leasing, in Evidence-Based Innovation in Housing Law (Fennell & Keys ed. 2017).

Outpsyched: The Battle of Expertise in Psychology-Informed Law, 57 Jurimetrics 1 (2016).

The Dark Side of Town: The Social Capital Revolution in Residential Property Law, 99 Virginia Law Review 811 (2013).

Protecting Property Through Politics: State Legislative Checks and Judicial Takings, 97 Minnesota Law Review 2176 (2013).

Reassessing the Citizen Virtues of Homeownership, 111 Columbia Law Review 890 (2011).

Smart Grid, Technology and the Psychology of Environmental Behavior Change, 86 Chi-Kent L. Rev. 139 (2011) (invited symposium).

The Inviolate Home: Housing Exceptionalism in the Fourth Amendment, 95 Cornell Law Review 905 (2010).

Property Frames, 87 Wash. U. L. Rev. 449 (2010) (with J. Nash).

Residential Protectionism and the Legal Mythology of Home, 107 Mich. L. Rev. 1093 (2009), reprinted in Gregory S. Alexander & Hanoch DaganProperties of Property 309-16 (2012).   

State Action as Political Voice in Global Climate Change Policy, in Adjudicating Climate Change (Osofsky & Burns ed. 2009).

Reconsidering “Crowding Out” of Intrinsic Motivation from Conservation Incentives, V Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation (2008).

Encouraging Conservation on Private Lands: A Behavioral Analysis of Financial Incentives48 Ariz. L. Rev. 541 (2006).

Temporal Dynamics of Disclosure: The Example of Residential Real Estate ConveyancingUTAH L. REV. 57 (2005).

Cognitive Consistency: Theory Maintenance and Administrative Rulemaking, 63 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 589 (2002).

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