The Best Schools and Programs For Environmental Law
The University of California at Berkeley School of Law, commonly known as Berkeley Law or Boalt Hall, publishes Ecology Law Quarterly, considered by many to be the top environmental law journal. Berkeley Law is particularly known for its internships and placement programs. For example, students can intern with leading non-profits like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund. They can also participate in the Workshop in Development and Environment, where students research and evaluate a large public project for environmental impact, exposing them to leading advocates and policy makers. In addition, students can enroll in concurrent programs with the schools of business, public policy, and environmental science.
Located in a region renowned for its natural resources, the University of Colorado Law School (Boulder) is best known for its research prowess, particularly in the areas of water resources, climate change, and energy. Colorado Law offers a Natural Resources Clinic; maintains an Environmental Law Society; publishes the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy; and hosts the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment. Students have also landed externships and jobs with organizations ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Shell Oil Company.
Tulane University Law School provides the largest faculty-supervised environmental law clinical program. It offers both a Certificate of Specialization in Energy and Environmental Law and an LL.M. in Energy and Environment. Along with a law journal and environmental law society, Tulane hosts a national think tank, the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy. It also offers advanced coursework in areas like hazardous and solid wastes, wetlands and coastal management, and historic preservation and urban areas.
In 2012, the American Bar Association honored the University of Maryland School of Law’s Environmental Law Clinic with its Distinguished Achievement Award in Environmental Law and Policy. The clinic, which is Maryland’s largest public interest environmental law firm, is just one facet of the school’s focus on environmental law. The university also maintains the Network for Public Health Law, which offers legal assistance, training, and research for the eastern region in areas like environmental health and food safety. The school sponsors an environmental moot court, with a negotiation team that participates in competitions nationwide. And it has delivered externships for students with organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Senate.
The University of Oregon established the first environmental law clinic in the United States. The school is best-known for hosting the annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, the largest event of its kind in the world, drawing over 3,000 lawyers, advocates, and academics from 50 countries. The university offers over 40 courses in environmental law, along with concurrent degree programs and an LL.M. in Environmental Law.