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Charles Szypszak

Albert Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government

Charles Szypszak joined the School of Government in 2005. Prior to that, he was a director of a general practice firm in New Hampshire, where he provided counsel and advocacy for real estate and business matters. He provides counsel to state, national, and international institutions, organizations, and public officials on real property registration and conveyance laws. In the School's master of public administration program, he teaches the introduction to law course and an elective on military leadership and public service, and he teaches an introduction to legal thinking course in the University’s undergraduate curriculum. He also teaches internationally, including in Poland and Lithuania, twice on a Fulbright award. He has been awarded the University’s J. Carlysle Sitterson Freshman Teaching Award and the School’s Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Teaching Excellence Award. He was an adjunct professor of law at Franklin Pierce Law Center, a law clerk for Circuit Judge Hugh Bownes on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and a captain in the US Marine Corps. Szypszak earned a B.A. from the University of Southern California, an M.A. from San Diego State University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.


Selected Publications


North Carolina Guidebook for Registers of Deeds (School of Government, UNC Chapel Hill 11th ed. 2021, 10th ed. 2013, 9th ed. 2007).

The Law of Municipal Streets and Utility Easements in North Carolina (School of Government, UNC Chapel Hill 2019).

Military Leadership Lessons for Public Service (McFarland & Co. 2016).

Real Estate and North Carolina Law: A Resident’s Primer (School of Government, UNC Chapel Hill 2012).

Understanding Law for Public Administration(Jones & Bartlett 2009).

Eminent Domain for North Carolina Local Governments: Law and Procedure (School of Government, UNC Chapel Hill 2008).

Real Estate (NH Practice Series) (LexisNexis 2d ed. 2023, 1st ed. 2003).



The Legal History, Incongruous Variations, and Outer Reaches of the Real Estate Transfer Tax, 57 Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Journal 275 (2022).

Stare Decisis and Information Abundance in a Common Law Jurisdiction, 49 Review of European and Comparative Law 7 (2022) (with Emily Roscoe).

Case Law as Raw Material for Teaching Ethics in Public Administration, 27 Journal of Public Affairs Education 434 (2021).

Herein Lies the Rub with Comparative Law Research – From an American Perspective, 27 Comparative Law Review 105 (2021) (with Emily Roscoe).

Legal Protection of Property Rights in the Self-Regulating United States Local Recording System, 9 Adam Mickiewicz University Law Review 10 (2019).

Privacy and Public Real Estate Records: Preserving Legacy System Reliability Against Modern Threats, 49 The Urban Lawyer 355 (2017) (with Emily Roscoe). 

Local Government Registers of Deeds and the Enduring Reliance on Common Sense Judgment in a Technocratic Tide, 44 Real Estate Law Journal 351 (2015).

Socratic Method for the Right Reasons and in the Right Way: Lessons from Teaching Legal Analysis Beyond the American Law School, 11 Journal of Political Science Education 358 (2015).

Teaching Law in Public Affairs Education: Synthesizing Political Theory, Decision Making, and Responsibility, 17 Journal of Public Affairs Education 483 (2011).

Real Estate Records, the Captive Public, and Opportunities for the Public Good, 43 Gonzaga Law Review 5 (2008).

North Carolina’s Real Estate Recording Laws: The Ghost of 1885, 28 North Carolina Central Law Journal 199 (2006).

Beyond the Rule of Law, 45 New Hampshire Bar Journal 46 (2005).

Public Registries and Private Solutions: An Evolving American Real Estate Conveyance Regime, 24 Whittier Law Review 663 (2003).



Fields of Expertise
Real Property Law
public law
Teaching Pedagogy
Eminent Domain
Local Government Property Transactions
Marriage Law
Property Mapping
Real Estate Law
Registers of Deeds
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