Law School Course Areas and Related Classes
WHAT THIS AREA IS ABOUT. Environmental Law is the study of the national and international response to the emerging human awareness that all living things are interconnected. While it is deeply rooted in the common law of nuisance, Environmental Law's contemporary manifestation is predominantly statutory and regulatory. And, while it is a relatively new field-having erupted from the Silent Spring revolution of the early 1960's — it has exploded in the last 30 years into a daunting array of complex statutory and regulatory schemes. Contemporary Environmental Law is wide-ranging, diverse and complex, and the course offerings at UT are structured to permit students to gain a general overview of the entire field or to delve more deeply into one or more areas.
BASIC COURSES. UT offers many core courses in Environmental Law. The most basic is the overview course entitled Introduction to Environmental Law. This course provides a whirlwind tour of the major environmental statutes and their theoretical and regulatory structures. This course is designed for the student who wishes to gain a working familiarity with the subject; it is not a prerequisite for other environmental offerings.
In addition to the general introductory course, UT offers several courses designed to provide students with a more in-depth understanding of the major statutory and regulatory schemes, or even one common component of many statutory schemes. These courses — Air & Water; Toxic Wastes; Water Law; Hazardous Wastes and Enforcement; and Environmental Law & Natural Resources — may be taken in lieu of the general introductory course for the student seeking a more thorough understanding of the Environmental Law landscape. In addition, Comparative Environmental Law offers a broader perspective, allowing the student to explore the response of other countries to pollution control and natural resource scarcity. Finally, every serious student of environmental law should take Administrative Law, as pollution control and natural resource decisions are made primarily by state and federal administrative agencies.
SEMINARS. In addition to a rich array of core courses, the Environmental Law curriculum at UT includes a host of seminars. These courses, which vary from time to time, provide students with the opportunity to engage the scholarship and law in a particular area more intensively, and to write original scholarship for possible publication. While seminar topics may vary, UT regularly offers seminars in Environmental Litigation; Topics in Sustainable Development; and Citizen Participation in Environmental Decision-making, among other topics.
CLINIC. The University of Texas Environmental Law Clinic was founded in 2005, and a full time Clinical Professor was hired to direct the clinic in 2006. The interdisciplinary clinic brings students from the law school, the School of Engineering, and other schools across campus together to help low-income individuals in Texas address environmental and health issues in their communities. Through the clinic, students gain experience working with citizen groups, solving complex legal and social problems, preparing legal documents, and representing citizens in proceedings before state and federal agencies and in court. Students provide expertise and counsel to citizens who are affected by pollution and seek solutions that will improve the quality of the communities in which they live.
RELATED CLASSES. Useful classes related to Environmental Law include Negotiation; Real Estate Transactions; Dispute Resolution; Bankruptcy; Oil and Gas; Energy Law; NAFTA; International Trade; and the Nonprofit/Government Internship.
||Climate Change Law & Policy
||Comparative Environmental Law