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: 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 Enforcement

LAW 398

This course focuses on the various aspects of environmental practice against the backdrop of environmental enforcement and policy issues. The intention is to provide those students with an interest in environmental law an opportunity to engage in the fundamental principles of environmental enforcement from both the perspective of the complainant as well as the defendant. The course is designed to focus upon developing skills and creative approaches which may be applied to concrete problems within the universe that is environmental enforcement. Reliance will be placed upon classroom discussion, hypothetical fact situations, and role plays in addition to lectures in order to absorb the material which is presented.

Environmental Justice

LAW 621

Students in this course will learn about the development of environmental justice as a goal and as a framework for analyzing and addressing inequalities in environmental conditions among communities. Environmental justice and its relationship to law, politics, economics, science, and ethics, among other areas, will be explored. Student participation in environmental justice projects is encouraged, though not required.

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 and entertainment. 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 may include analysis of moral theories relating to the relationship between humans and non-human animals; review of laws of numerous jurisdictions relating to the use of animals in agriculture, scientific experiments, sport and entertainment, including film, circuses and animal exhibitions; 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. Recurrent topics of discussion are the impact of globalization on Animal Law, and the economic, moral, social and cultural foundations of the various approaches taken to Animal Law in different jurisdictions.

International Environmental Law

LAW 544

A survey of international environmental principles and problems, treaties, and conventions. Topics covered may include biodiversity, global climate change, hazardous substances, vessel-based pollution, marine conservation, transboundary air and water pollution (emphasizing Mexico-U.S. issues), and nuclear damage.

Law of the Sea: Environmental and Coastal Law

LAW 421

This course concerns the jurisdiction in ocean and coastal waters including public international law and U.S. policy regarding regulation of marine areas and resources and access including boundaries and territorial claims. The class may address topics such as environmental and management concerns related to water quality and habitats, coastal development and public access, ocean energy rights and mineral resources, and marine species.

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.

Natural Resources Seminar

LAW 358

This course surveys and evaluates federal and state law regulating the use of natural resources, with special emphasis on mining, water, and timber issues. Today's international situation and economic downturn have sharpened conflicts over the exploitation and preservation of these raw materials, so along with traditional sources such as cases and statutes, the class will discuss relevant articles from natural resource periodicals such as High Country News. There is no prerequisite for this course, although some subjects introduced in Real Property, such as takings and the public trust doctrine, will be considered in greater depth.

Water Law and Policy Seminar

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.