The Environmental Law Certificate Program was initiated as part of the school's commitment to quality environmental legal education. Completing this certificate will provide students with broad and deep exposure to environmental and natural resources law, preparing them for practice in those areas. It will also provide a signal to employers of a student’s commitment to and background in environmental and natural resources law.
Environmental Law Certificate Requirements
The certificate is awarded upon successful completion of two foundation courses - Environmental Law and Administrative Law; a substantial research paper on an environmental or natural resources topic; and 11 units of elective environmental law classes as described below.
Environmental courses taken at other law schools or within other UC Davis departments may be applied toward the 11 unit requirement if approved in advance by the environmental program faculty, and by the Senior Assistant Dean of Student Affairs in accordance with Regulation 1.6 [Courses in Other Law Schools] or Regulation 1.7 [Courses in Other Parts of the University].
Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 in graded certificate classes.
Independent Study and Externships
Up to 2 elective units may be earned toward the certificate for an independent study paper written under the supervision of one of the environmental program faculty. Up to 2 elective units may also be earned toward the certificate through an environmental externship, and up to 4 electives units through the water justice clinic. The total number of elective units earned through the clinic or an externship may not exceed 4.
Students must write a writing-requirement-quality paper, approved by one of the environmental program faculty on an environmental or natural resources law topic through a seminar, an independent study, or law review. The paper should develop and defend a thesis and demonstrate original thought and analysis; casenotes typically will not satisfy this requirement. Students are encouraged to consult early with faculty on paper topics and must submit a proposed topic to the supervising faculty member by September of their third year of law school and submit a draft of the paper by December of their third year. Specific deadlines should be established with your environmental law faculty advisor.
Environmental Law Elective Courses
Earn at least 11 units of environmental or natural resources law electives as listed below. At least 7 of those 11 units must come from graded environmental or natural resources law courses.
* Elective courses are offered on a rotating basis. Not all courses will be taught in any given year.
- 445B Advanced Aoki Water Justice Clinic (3-5)
- 235C Advanced Topics in Administrative Law (2)
- 224 Animal Law Seminar (2)
- 445A Aoki Water Justice Clinic (3-5)
- 257C Applied Statutory Interpretation: California's Housing-Framework Legislation (3)
- 285K Biodiversity Law (1)
- 230C California Environmental Cases and Places (3)
- 285A California Environmental Issues (2)
- 285E Climate Change Law and Policy (3)
- 274J Current Controversies in Intellectual Property Law (2)
- 285J Drafting a Solar Farm Bill Practicum (2)
- 282 Energy Law (2)
- 285F Environmental Justice (2)
- 285G Environmental Law Seminar: Emerging Technologies and the Environment (2)
- 285B Environmental Practice (3)
- 277 Federal Indian Law (3)
- 285C Food Systems Law and the Environment (2)
- 230 International Environmental Law (3)
- 256 Land Use Planning and the California Environmental Quality Act (2)
- 284 Law and Economics (3)
- 265 Natural Resources Law Seminar (2)
- 264A Ocean and Coastal Law (3)
- 287 Public Land and Natural Resources Law (2 or 3)
- 282A Renewable Energy Seminar (2)
- 281 State and Local Government Law (3)
- 230B Sustainability Law (2)
- 264 Water Law (3)
Environmental Law Certificate Form
Upon satisfying the above requirements, students should complete the Environmental Law Certificate Form , and submit to one of the Environmental Law Faculty members.
Learn more about our Environmental and Natural Resources Law Programs