Law School student’s research results in California law

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill based on student research conducted at Stanford Law School.

AB 551 seeks to create a vibrant urban farming ecosystem in California. By authorizing counties to create urban agriculture incentive zones, urban property owners can benefit from reduced property taxes by entering into contracts with farmers eager to create small-scale urban farms in cities.

The bill is based on research by NICHOLAS REED, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford in 2002 and his law degree in 2012. Reed worked with Alumni Mentor in Residence JUAN CARLOS CANCINO, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 2002 and his law degree in 2008, under the guidance of RICHARD THOMPSON FORD, professor of law, who taught them local government law.

Both San Francisco natives, Reed and Cancino were already working with the nonprofit they helped form in 2008, The Greenhouse Project. Their vision is one in which local governments unlock the potential of private actors to transform undeveloped parcels in cities into vibrant, self-sufficient community assets—in this case, small farms.

“Although there is no ‘urban ag’ law class at Stanford, as the implications involved the interplay of state and local government law, the research was a natural extension of Professor Ford’s course,” said Reed, adding, “It is absolutely amazing to think that an independent study project led to a state law. I would encourage all students to pursue ideas of true value to themselves while in law school, because you never know what may come from it.”

Read the full story on the Stanford Law School website.