Course Information

Where, When:

  • Spring 2020 — Rm. 114
  • Section C — TTh 8:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

Instructor Information:

Professor Christopher Cotropia
Room: Law School Room 321
Tel: 804-484-1574
Office Hours:  Just come by or e-mail


  • Clowney et. al., Open Source Property (Spring 2019) (“OSP” (available for download here — or order a paperback version from Amazon here))
  • Robert Laurence, Owen L. Anderson, & Pamela B. Minzner, A Student’s Guide to Estates in Land and Future Interests, Third Edition (LexisNexis 2012) (“L&M”)


The three components of the grading plan are as follows:

Final Exam (70% of final grade):

Seventy percent (70%) of your grade for this class will be based on a final open book, open note exam. The exam will likely consist of some combination of multiple-choice, short-answer, and/or essay questions.

Quizzes (15% of final grade):

Fifteen percent (15%) of your grade for this class will be based on quizzes administered via Blackboard throughout the semester.  These quizzes will be used to encourage, reinforce, and evaluate your mastery of the material just covered.  They will also be used for practice in taking multiple choice tests.  These quizzes will be graded on a pass/fail bases.

The quizzes will be short (no more than five (5) questions and taking no more than twenty (20) minutes)).  And the quizzes will be administered via Blackboard and made available after the material tested on the quiz has been covered.  The day these must be completed by will be noted on the syllabus so you can schedule accordingly.

Writing Assignments (15% of final grade):

Fifteen percent (15%) of your grade for this class will be based on the writing assignments (“WAs”) assigned throughout the semester.  These WAs will be graded on a pass/fail bases.  Note the following guidelines and rules:

  • Timing

WAs are due no later than 8:20 a.m. before the class session in which we will discuss the results of the WA. For example, if the Syllabus indicates that the “Opinion” WA is assigned Tuesday, January 21 and will be discussed on Thursday, January 23, your WA is due at 8:20 a.m., January 23 (right before class).

WAs turned in late will be graded as a fail.

  • Turning In WAs

To turn in a WA, you must email the WA (copy and paste into an email message or attach as a document to the email) to me ( with the following subject: Property: WA for [Your Name]. (Please be sure to use the correct subject line or your message might get tangled up in my spam filters and be considered “late.”)

  • Word Length

The word limit for each WA is 1500 words. WAs over the word limit will be given a failing grade. There is no minimum length.

  • Scoring

Each WA is read and assigned either a pass or fail grade. The key to a pass grade is that the WA evidences a good faith effort by the student in response to the assignment. These WA are mainly to reinforce class material and better prepare the student for the practice of law (and the final exam in this class). The WA should stay true to the format indicated for each assignment. They should also be well organized and well written.