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Environmental Law

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.

Writing Requirement

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 Foundation Courses

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 much 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.

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.

Environmental Faculty

Christopher Elmendorf
Richard Frank
Albert Lin
Lesley McAllister

Learn more about our Environmental and Natural Resources Law Programs