Courses in Environmental Law

Administrative Law

LAW 501

An examination of the legal limits of state and federal executive action; rule-making; adjudicative and investigative actions of administrative agencies; relevant statutes, such as the Administrative Procedure Act; and the concepts of delegation, ripeness, standing, judicial review, and due process.

Advanced Real Property Practicum

LAW 211

This experiential course will engage students in a series of simulation exercises focusing on real property concepts. Each week will include a review of substantive property doctrine or introduce property-related environmental law material. Students will then apply these principles to simulated disputes, using documents and maps illustrative of case files in actual negotiation and litigation. Topics covered may include adverse possession, gifts, estates and future interests, landlord-tenant law, nuisance law and solar energy, easements, covenants, eminent domain, takings, water rights affected by climate change, flooding and zoning, and multi-party instream flow mediation. Prerequisite If taken as a one-semester course, students must have completed Real Property I (LAW 109). If taken as a year-long course, students must have completed Real Property I and II (LAW 109 and 110).

Animal Law

LAW 331

This course considers the moral and legal issues surrounding the relationship between humans and domestic and non-domestic animals. The connection of morality to the law will be explored as will major moral theories relating to the relationship between animals and humans. In this context the concept of 'rights' will be analyzed and its potential application to animals will be discussed. Additional topics that may be covered in the course include the use of animals in agriculture and experimentation and the application of the federal Animal Welfare Act to these practices, state law concerning animals, the concept of animals as property, liability for and damages recoverable for injuries to and by animals, wills and trusts problems relating to bequests for the benefit of animals, intellectual property issues, and selected issues of international and comparative law relating to animals.

California Environmental Law Seminar

LAW 507

This course will introduce students to environmental laws promulgated by and specific to the State of California. Topics covered may include California Environmental Quality Act, the California Endangered Species Act, the Porter Cologne Act; the California Clean Air Act, and the California Coastal Act. Students will acquire an understanding of the purpose of each Act, the general procedures associated with each Act, and how each Act is used to protect California's environment.

Environmental Law

LAW 574

An introduction to the major issues in environmental law; the role of legislative, administrative, and executive bodies and judicial review; land and resource management; air and water pollution control; pesticide and toxic substance regulation; solid waste policy; and federal and state administrative procedures.

International and Comparative Animal Law

LAW 912

This course looks at animal law from an international and comparative law perspective, analyzing the impact of globalization and other cultural and economic forces on the use of animals in agriculture, experimentation, entertainment and as companions. Although the class is focused on issues relating to animals, it covers a number of subjects of general applicability relating to international law, international trade, intellectual property and environmental law. Some of the subjects covered include analysis of moral theories relating to the relationship between humans and non-human animals; review of laws of numerous jurisdictions, including substantial coverage of United States law, relating to companion animals and to the use of animals in agriculture, scientific experiments and sport and entertainment; analysis of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; study of the impact of international trade agreements on Animal Law issues, with a focus on the World Trade Organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; consideration of the recent trend toward protecting the interests of animals through constitutional provisions; and analysis of animal-related intellectual property issues including cloning, patenting of life forms, trade secrets, and sales of artwork created by animals.

Law of the United States – Mexico Border

LAW 323

An introduction to the influence of the Mexico-United States border region on doctrinal development and legal policy in U.S. federal and state courts. Topics covered may include the natural and political boundary, search and seizure of migrants, immigration, transborder families, international real estate, financial arrangements, torts, crime, the environment, water, and the extraterritorial application of Mexican law. The question of how a "border legal culture" impacts the practice of law in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas will be emphasized.

Water Law and Policy

LAW 390

In the Old West, it was said that “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.” For the practicing attorney today, understanding water rights is crucial in real estate development, land use planning, environmental regulation, and international law. The course covers the surface water doctrines of prior appropriation and riparianism, groundwater, interstate allocation, ecosystem protection, and cross-border allocation.