Students must take and successfully complete two required courses:
- Environmental Law
- Administrative Law or the first year version of this course, Introduction to Administrative Law. The Environmental Law course gives students the basic introduction to the central statutes used in the practice of Environmental Law. Administrative Law is also essential, as the practice of Environmental Law occurs largely in regulatory settings before public agencies. If a student takes Introduction to Administrative Law in the first year, the student cannot also take the upper division Administrative Law course.
Students must choose and successfully complete at least two electives from the following list of courses. (See discussion below of unit requirements for the Concentration). Please note that these offerings will likely change as the Environmental Law curriculum is updated with additional classes:
- Animal Law
- International Environmental Law (including when it is offered in our Costa Rica Summer Program)
- Land Use Controls
- Law of Global Warming
- Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
- Local Government and the Environment Seminar
- Natural Resources Law Seminar
- Public Interest Law Practice Seminar
- Water Law
Students must fulfill an experiential component that introduces them to the actual practice of Environmental Law. Students will fulfill the experiential component in one of three ways:
- Externship: First, students can meet the requirement through an externship. The Law School offers externships with a number of public agencies who do important environmental work. These include the California Attorney General's Office (the Environment Section or the Natural Resources Section, both of which do most of the state's environmental litigation), the District Attorney's Environmental Crimes Division, the City Attorney's Environmental Protection Unit, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (the largest air quality agency in the country except for the federal EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (with responsibilities for, among other areas, marine endangered species and oil spills). Students may also choose to apply for an externship with a nonprofit environmental law group, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council.
- Each student who is taking an externship for the Environmental Law Concentration must meet with Professor Selmi at least three times during the externship. The first meeting must take place before the Externship begins and must be initiated by the student. The meeting will establish the requirements that the student must complete and the timing of them. One of the other two meetings will attempt to include the principal lawyer with whom the student is externing. Within the constraints of the attorney client privilege, the meetings will discuss what the student can expect in the externship and the practice of Environmental Law, what the student has learned or is learning about the practice of Environmental Law, and how to generalize that learning experience. Two short reflection papers will be required of the student.
- National Environmental Moot Court: Second, students can fulfill the experiential component if they are chosen to participate in the National Environmental Moot Court Competition during their third year (or fourth year in the evening). Students prepare a brief and present arguments on a problem that always involves complicated environmental issues. Students interested in this option should contact Professor Selmi for further information.
- Transaction Course: Third, students wishing a transactional experience can take Green Energy Project Development and Finance. The course is structured like a business law practicum, with the students working through the issues in a transaction involving some type of green energy. Evening students in particular may find this a useful way to fulfill the experiential component.
Environmental Law Concentration
919 Albany St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015