Administrative Law


Welcome to LawShelf’s video-course on administrative law. Because Congress-due to lack of time and expertise- is incapable of governing the minute details of the execution of every federal law, it must, inevitably, delegate some of its responsibilities. It does so by establishing administrative agencies which clarify, enforce and sometimes even adjudicate federal law. This course covers how federal agencies are created, the scopes of their authorities and the processes by which they are required to operate under the Administrative Procedures Act.

This is an introductory level course, and no prior knowledge of law or government is required.

The course starts with a discussion of the role that administrative agencies play in the government and the powers and limitations on the ability of Congress to delegate authority to them. We’ll look at the agencies’ roles as part of the executive branch of government and discuss why administrative agencies are often said to have characteristics of all three branches of government.

In module two, we will introduce the Administrative Procedures Act. We will discuss the “due process” constitutional requirements that govern agency actions and also introduce the two primary mechanisms by which agencies operate: rulemaking and adjudication.

Module three follows up by looking at agency rulemaking. We will discuss the process for initiating new rules and formal and informal rulemaking. We will focus on the public comment requirements and the mechanisms by which proposals can become agency rules or regulations.

Module four then looks at agency adjudication. We will discuss the role of administrative law judges in the way in which formal and informal agency adjudication processes must be managed. We will also look at the standards under which administrative adjudication takes place and the requirements of fact-finding and decision making by administrative law judges.

The last module covers judicial review of agency decisions. We will look at the standards under which agency decisions are reviewed and roadblocks that people often face in suing to have administrative actions reversed. Included in these are sovereign immunity and the doctrines of standing and ripeness.

When you complete this course, you will understand the sources of agencies’ authorities, the basics of their processes and the checks on their powers. You will also have a better idea of why, though perhaps not as heralded as the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, administrative agencies often play equal roles in the management of federal and state governments.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.


Administrative Law Structures - Module 1 of 5


Procedures of Administrative Agencies - Module 2 of 5


Administrative Rulemaking - Module 3 of 5


Administrative Adjudication - Module 4 of 5


Judicial Review of Administration Actions - Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.