Environmental and Natural Resources Law

Business in Society

Lecture - Society’s expectations of companies are changing and companies are responding. Many companies go beyond compliance with the law to address environmental and social issues, from climate change to diversity. This new articulation of corporate purpose raises complex legal, ethical, and business questions. This class uses the case study method to examine this paradigm shift in the business and investment community. Each week we will analyze a particular company or business trend.

Biodiversity Law

Seminar - This course will cover the law of biodiversity, with a focus on the laws of the United States. We will review the science of biodiversity and biodiversity loss, and then examine laws addressing biodiversity at the federal, state, and local levels. We will cover biodiversity law, ecosystem management, and emerging challenges like climate change and renewable energy development. The course will be graded based on short response papers and participation in class discussions.

Drafting a Solar Farm Bill Practicum

Skills - 2 hours. Drafting a Solar Farm Bill is a practicum in which the class acts as an advisory law firm for its client, a solar farm bill solution and its facilitator, the educational non-profit Climate Solutions Advocacy Institute (CSAI). The class objective is to provide the client with a white paper that can advise CSAI in its development of a massive solar farm bill, financed by green bonds.

Advanced Topics in Administrative Law

Seminar – 2 hours. Much of our modern federal government relies on administrative agencies exercising authority delegated to them by Congress. Federal courts have traditionally deferred to agencies’ implementation of the statutes they administer, although these courts also set aside (or “vacate”) agency actions they find to be unlawful. In recent years, however, several justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have openly called for revisiting several administrative law doctrines that underlie this system.

Administrative Law

Lecture - 3 hours. Course examines how the U.S. Constitution and the federal Administrative Procedure Act constrain and regulate decision making by government agencies and officials. Topics include administrative due process, separation of powers, delegation of authority to agencies, procedural requirements for agency adjudication and rulemaking, and the extent and limits of judicial review. This course is highly recommended for anyone intending to practice in any public law area or at the intersection of public/private law.

Food Systems Law and the Environment

Seminar - 2 units.  Trade tariffs, fecal water pollution, and migrant workers’ rights: these are all issues that have been in the news this year.  A common thread: these issues all affect, and are affected by, aspects of our food system and the laws surrounding this system.  This course explores the various legal structures surrounding the governance of our food system; we will cover environmental regulation (or lack thereof), food safety laws, trade laws, and labor laws.  Indeed, the structure of our food system is especially in flux during this administration, given the upcoming passage o

Energy Law Seminar

Seminar - 2 hours. The seminar explores the history, law, and public policy of energy regulation in the United States, emphasizing economic and environmental regulation. Competitive restructuring of the natural gas and electric utility industries is emphasized. The basic regulatory schemes for other energy sources—hydroelectric power, coal, oil, and nuclear power—are explored depending on class interest. This seminar is recommended to anyone interested in the energy sector, various models of economic regulation, or regulated industries.

Final Assessment: Take-home exam

Environmental Law

Discussion - 4 hours. An introduction to environmental law, focusing primarily on federal law.  Includes coverage of the historical development of environmental law, including the transition from common law to statutory law; the role of courts, the legislature, and the executive branch in the development and implementation of environmental policy; allocation of authority among different levels of government; the role of market forces in environmental decisions; and the major regulatory strategies that have been applied to control environmental harm.

Environmental Law Externship

All King Hall externships have two components. Students perform substantive legal work at a field placement, and under the supervision of a faculty advisor, complete professional development assignments. See the Externship website for more information. Students gain hands-on experience with a variety of environmental law settings. Past placements have included a large number of California state agencies such as the Department of Water Resources, the state EPA, the CA Governor’s Office, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club.

Environmental Practice

Discussion - 3 hours.  Core course for Environmental Law Certificate Program.  This class examines underlying theory and practice in securing compliance with our major environmental laws.  After exploring basic principles of enforcement, we look at current issues arising in implementing environmental law in civil prosecutions, criminal prosecutions, and citizen suits.  These include environmental federalism, deterrence-based and cooperation-based theories of enforcement, penalty policies, supplemental environmental projects, mens rea requirements for criminal violatio