Environmental and Natural Resources Law

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

International Environmental Law

Discussion - 3 hours. Elective Course for Environmental Law Certificate Program. Prior course work in environmental law and/or international law is helpful. This course provides an overview of the structure and basic principles of international environmental law and policy. The course considers the challenge of addressing global environmental problems in a system characterized by multiple sovereign governments, the regulatory limitations of U.S.

Land Use Planning and the California Environmental Quality Act

Discussion - 2 hours. Local agencies, developers, environmental groups, businesses, and countless others regularly deal with the administrative and legislative applications of California’s wide range of land use planning and development laws. Topics include zoning, general plans, local government land use regulation, tribal interests, and related areas of litigation. In addition, the course focuses extensively on the overarching role of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Final Assessment: Exam

Law and Religion Seminar

Seminar - 2 hours. The primary focus of the course will be federal constitutional law relating to religion - the interpretation and application of the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. State constitutional law may also be considered as well as federal and state statutes relating to religion, e.g.