Exam Type: No Exam
This course complements the general survey course in environmental law. The primary contrast between the two courses lies in their relative breadth and depth of coverage. The survey course can perhaps be best described as a series of broad, shallow dives into the substance of federal environmental law. This class, Advanced Environmental Law includes a series, far fewer in number, of much narrower and deeper dives into much of the same material. The basic objective of the course is to teach students how to navigate and think about an exceedingly complex regime of statutes, regulations, and informal agency practices in the context of addressing a concrete environmental problem. By examining in detail environmental law in application, the theoretical underpinnings and the challenges of environmental lawmaking are well highlighted. The course, moreover, is taught in a manner that does not require students who take the class to have first taken the survey class.
The class will meet for two hours each week for twelve weeks. For some topics, there will be two class meetings and for other topics only one. Each topic will involve an important and topical issue of environmental law, broadly defined to include natural resources law topics. Most will involve pending litigation in the federal district court, court of appeals, or U.S. Supreme Court. But it is possible that some topics will involve environmental issues currently being debated and discussed before an administrative agency or Congress.
Because the topics for the Advanced Environmental Law class deliberately focus on current issues, it is not possible to identify the precise topics for Spring Semester 2017. The current expectation is that the class will cover six to ten topics during the semester. The Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act are likely to be major focal points, but it is also expected they will not be the exclusive focus because of the richness of the breadth of environmental and natural resources law.
The course grade would be based on each student’s preparation of a series of separate, short papers on the various topics covered during the semester.