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Carol L. Zeiner
Professor of Law
B.S., Florida State University, magna cum laude
J.D., University of Miami School of Law, magna cum laude
Phone: (305) 623-2395
Office: Faculty Suite, Room 209-O

Carol L. Zeiner has been a member of the law faculty at St. Thomas University since 2002. Prior to becoming a law professor, Professor Zeiner practiced law with two prestigious Florida-based law firms and in the in-house legal department of Wometco Enterprises. In 1991 she became College Attorney, the first in-house counsel of Miami-Dade College (then Miami-Dade Community College) where she created and managed the in-house legal department as well as providing legal advice and legal services to the College and the Board of Trustees for over a decade. As College Attorney, Professor Zeiner reduced outside legal costs from $1.4 million to approximately $320,000 per year with a staff of two attorneys, while supporting enrollment growth, expansion of three campuses, addition of a new campus, and addition of new center. She assisted with gaining approval for new programs and baccalaureate degrees and with the rewrite of the Florida Education Code. She created and implemented a program to increase the number of law firms and lawyer diversity of attorneys approved to provide outside legal services to the College.

Today, a tenured, full professor, Zeiner is combining her love of teaching with her extensive experience in law practice to prepare the next generation of lawyers. She has spoken at conferences and is the author of many articles. Her writing in therapeutic jurisprudence, a field in which she is considered a leader, seeks to enhance the well-being, particularly the emotional well-being, of persons impacted by laws and legal processes. She seeks to transport therapeutic jurisprudence from the people-related fields of law where it began to business-related fields such as eminent domain, business negotiations, and higher education law.


Book Chapter:

  • Carol L. Zeiner, The Real Estate Transaction as a Teaching Tool, L. Tchr (Spring 2006) , Reprinted in Techniques for Teaching Law 2 (Gerald F. Hess, Steven Friedland, Michael Hunter Schwartz and Sophie Sparrow, Eds., 2011).


  • Carol L. Zeiner, Getting Deals Done: Enhancing Negotiation Theory and Practice Through a Therapeutic Jurisprudence/ Comprehensive Law Mindset, 21 Harv. Negot. L. Rev. (forthcoming Spring 2016). SSRN
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Should Therapeutic Jurisprudence be Used to Analyze Impacts of Legal Processes on Government?, 28 St. Thomas L. Rev. (forthcoming Spring 2016). SSRN
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Kelo Through the Lens of Therapeutic Jurisprudence, 6 Phoenix L. Rev. 857 (2013), invited article for annual issue on therapeutic jurisprudence and comprehensive law. HeinOnline
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Marching Across the Putative Black/White Race Line: A Convergence of Narratology, History and Theory, 33 B.C. J. L. & Soc. Sci. 249 (2013). HeinOnline
  • Carol L. Zeiner, A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Analysis of the Use of Eminent Domain to Create a Leasehold, 2013 Utah L. Rev. 883 & 33 Utah Envtl. L. Rev. 197 (2013). HeinOnline
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Eminent Domain Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Private Benefit Masquerading as a Classic Public Use, 28 Va. Envtl. L.J. 1 (2010). HeinOnline
  • Carol L. Zeiner, When Kelo Met Twombly-Iqbal: Implications for Pretext Challenges to Eminent Domain, 46(2) Willamette L. Rev. 201 (2009). HeinOnline
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Section 529 Prepaid College Tuition Scholarships: Help in Uncertain Economic Times, 55(2) Wayne L. Rev. 1061 (2009). HeinOnline
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Establishing a Leasehold through Eminent Domain: A Slippery Slope Made More Treacherous by Kelo, 56(2) Cath. U. L. Rev. 503 (2007). HeinOnline
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Zoned Out! Examining Campus Speech Zones, 66(1) La. L. Rev. 1 (2005). HeinOnline
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Monetary and Regulatory Hobbling: The Acquistion of Real Property by Public Institutions of Higher Education in Florida, 12(1-2) U. Miami Bus. L. Rev. 103 (2004). HeinOnline

Additional Publications:

  • Carol L. Zeiner, The Fundamental Differences between Taking a Fee Simple and Creating a Leasehold via Eminent Domain. Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation (28th Annual ALI-ABA Course of Study) and Condemnation 101: Making the Complex Simple in Eminent Domain (Sixth Annual ALI-ABA Course of Study). (2011).
  • Carol L. Zeiner, Speaking Out on Campus Speech Zones. 26th Annual National Conference on Law and Higher Education (February 2005). (2005).



Real Estate Development & Finance

Higher Education Law

Professor Zeiner is currently organizing and hosting an international scholarly workshop on therapeutic jurisprudence to be held February 2 and 3, 2018 at St. Thomas University School of Law, and she is organizing a panel on therapeutic jurisprudence for the Symposium to be held in Spring 2018 in honor of retiring Professor Amy Ronner.

In January 2018, she will be speaking on “Financing Public Higher Education Real Estate Development: an Illustration of Creativity in a Highly Regulated Environment,” at the AALS Annual Convention in San Diego, CA.

In September, October and November 2017, Professor Zeiner developed and gained faculty approval for a Certificate in Real Estate Law. She will serve as Advisor.

In September 2017 her article, “A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Analysis of Government’s Directives on Student to Student Campus Rape,” was accepted for publication in the Education Law Journal in 2018.

In July 2017 Professor Zeiner was sworn in as a Commissioner on the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. The Ethics Commission, created in 1996 by citizens’ vote, is an independent agency of Miami-Dade County with advisory and quasi-judicial powers

In July 2017 Professor Zeiner organized the panel “Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Higher Education,” and spoke on “TJ and ‘Hot Button’ Issues in Higher Education” at the 35th International Congress on Law and Mental Health in Prague, Czech Republic. She also accepted appointment as a member of the Advisory Board of the International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

In March 2017, Professor Zeiner had the privilege of serving on an ABA Site Inspection Team for Law School Reaccreditation

In October 2016, she presented on “A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Analysis of Government’s Current Approach to Campus Rape,” at the Scholars in Therapeutic Jurisprudence Leadership Meeting and Scholarship Workshop, Osgoode Hall School of Law, University of Toronto, Toronto Canada.

On March 14, 2016, Professor Zeiner presented her article, “Getting Deals Done: Enhancing Negotiation Theory and Practice through a Therapeutic Jurisprudence/Comprehensive Law Mindset,” (Harvard Negotiation Law Review, 2016) at Elon University School of Law.

Professor Zeiner was the subject of a feature story in the Key Biscayne Islander News on December 3, 2015.

On October 18, 2015, Professor Zeiner spoke at Florida State University on “How What I Learned in Intercollegiate Sports has Impacted My Life after Sports,” an acceptance speech in connection with her receipt of a 2015 Champions beyond the Game award from the FSU Boosters Club.

In September 2015, Professor Zeiner presented on “Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Higher Education Law” at the Scholars in Therapeutic Jurisprudence Leadership Meeting and Scholarship Workshop, Suffolk University Law School, Boston Massachusetts.

In July 2015, Professor Zeiner presented on “Incorporating Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Law School Curriculum: Negotiation in a Real Estate Development and Finance Course,” at the 34th Congress of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Vienna, Austria.