15 credits from the following courses:
Examines fundamental and practical issues of federal and New York administrative law. Deals with the scope of power of administrative agencies and the relationship of such agencies to other branches of government.
Focuses on developing general analytical framework for understanding environmental law, including development of common law, with emphasis on statutory and regulatory techniques for pollution control.
This course will examine the underpinnings of environmental and natural resources law by exploring the foundational ideas governing the use, protection and allocation of the environment and natural resources. Among the subjects covered will be competing theories of entitlement, including those represented in the concept of property in the common law tradition, humans as conquerors or citizens of nature, the public trust, and nature as an economic resource. Drawing from both legal and non-legal sources, students will examine the historical circumstances of laws governing nature, will consider the modern application of those laws, and will investigate in depth the social, political and economic policy implications of regulating nature.
At least 3 credits from the following courses:
Understand and identify ethical issues faced by members of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches at the federal, state and local levels. Examine real current events and hypothetical issues to consider both prosecution and defense processes raised by ethical transgressions. Understand the components of individual action, organizational structure, organizational culture, rule of law and societal expectations to gain best practice knowledge. Learn ethical responsibilities of attorneys in government service and the ethical obligations of government employees who are not attorneys.
Examines legal techniques for public regulation of the use of land. Casebook has a national focus, but additional focus is placed on the New York planning and zoning enabling statutes, which were extensively revised in the 1990s.
This course is a general introduction to the body of domestic and international law developing daily to grapple with catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. The course is practice-oriented, and includes simulated climate treaty negotiations and litigation of a climate change-related case. Several practitioners of climate change law and a practicing climate scientist will join us as guest speakers.
The course begins with a general overview of current climate science, and the policy, economics, and legal framework of the law of climate change. The next module covers an introduction to international environmental law, including the climate treaties and current negotiations. We will explore the international human rights to a clean environment and stable climate, and the attempts to locate and enforce these rights in international and U.S. law. Turning to domestic law we will examine the sources of law that govern the principal sources of greenhouse gases, both federal judicial and administrative law. Our exploration begins with the Clean Air Act, public nuisance theory, and current litigation concerning transportation and energy generation, two of the greatest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. The course will then turn to regional, state and local initiatives to mitigation of and adaptation to the effects of climate change.
Introduces structure, powers, and functioning of local governments and their interaction with the state. Topics include constitutional nature of local governments, incorporation, annexation, home rule, special districts and authorities, real property assessment and taxation, public access to information and meetings, state and local finance, and land use controls.
Participation in at least one of the following experiential programs:
Field Placement or SIP related to Environmental Law, including related and existing clinical offerings.
Students are required to complete one significant piece of writing in the concentration area. The writing requirement does not require that students earn any credits beyond the required and credits described above. The topic and the arrangement for fulfilling the writing requirement, however, must be approved in advance by the Concentration Advisor. The paper could be written to fulfill the requirements of a course, an independent study, or a law journal note and comment. It may also be possible to fulfill this requirement by completing a substantial piece of writing in conjunction with an experiential course, clinic, or Field Placement, such as a brief, a series of Motions, or a significant legal memorandum. It could also be fulfilled by writing a paper independently, such as a submission to a writing competition or an article for publication. In all of these arrangements, the prior approval of the Concentration Advisor is required.
(Effective December 18, 2018)