LL.M. in Environmental & Energy Law

General

Program Description

Overview

Established at the beginning of the modern environmental law era, the George Washington University Law School's Environmental and Energy Law Program has been at the forefront of education in the field for almost 50 years. Over the past decade, the program has been expanded to increase our focus on energy law, adding new classes and creating the Sustainable Energy Initiative. Today, the program is expanding significantly to provide the next generation of environmental and energy lawyers with the tools they need to tackle the local, national, and international challenges facing the planet and its inhabitants, including climate change, fisheries depletion, air pollution, water scarcity, and developing new sources of energy.

GW Law is located in the heart of the nation’s capital, where environmental and energy law policy is debated and made. The law school’s location provides students with unique opportunities to learn environmental and energy law from nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field and to work as interns with some of the most influential government and nonprofit environmental organizations in the world.

Courses

Foundational courses survey the range of statutes, regulatory practices, and judicial decisions in the environment and energy field. Advanced courses and seminars provide in-depth coverage of several environmental statutes as well as a number of environment and energy practice areas. JD candidates may earn Recognition of a JD Concentration in Environmental Law by successfully completing 14 credits of coursework in Environmental Law, including three required courses—Environmental Law (6430), Natural Resources Law (6440) and Administrative Law (6400)—two credits of experiential learning, and completion of a writing requirement based on an environmental law topic.

JD candidates may earn Recognition of a JD Concentration in Energy Law by successfully completing 14 credits of coursework in Energy Law and Environmental Law, which must include Energy Law and Regulation (6438) and Administrative Law (6400). In addition, students are required to take at least four credits from among the following courses: Energy Law Seminar (6441)**, Oil and Gas Law (6443), Atomic Energy Law (6459); and Air Pollution Control (6432). Finally, students must have two credits of experiential learning and complete a writing requirement based on an energy law topic.

Foundation Courses

  • Administrative Law (6400)
  • Environmental Law (6430)
  • Energy Law and Regulation (6438)
  • Natural Resources Law (6440)

Advanced Courses

  • Regulated Industries (6406)
  • Animal Law Seminar (6424)
  • Wildlife and Ecosystems Law (6431)
  • Air Pollution Control (6432)
  • Water Pollution Control (6434)
  • Trade and Sustainable Development (6435)
  • Coastal, Navigation, and Wetlands Resource Law (6437)
  • Energy Law Seminar (6441)**
  • Control of Solid and Hazardous Wastes (RCRA & CERCLA) (6442)
  • Oil and Gas Law (6443)
  • Regulation of Toxic Substances Risk (6444)
  • Environmental and Toxic Torts (6449)
  • Federal Facilities Environmental Law Issues (6450)
  • Environmental Issues in Business Transactions (6452)
  • International Environmental Law (6454)
  • International Climate Change Law (6455)
  • Environmental Negotiations (6458)
  • Atomic Energy Law (6459)
  • Environment and Energy Policy Practicum (6460)
  • Selected Topics in Environmental Law (6461)
  • Environmental Crimes (6464)
  • Environmental Crimes Project (6465)
  • Environmental Law Seminar (6466)**
  • Environmental Legislation Project (6467)
  • Graduate Environmental Placement (6468)
  • Environmental Lawyering (6469)
  • International Trade Law (6526)
  • Advanced International Trade Law (6527)
  • International Project Finance (6545)
  • Human Rights and Environmental Protection (6571)
  • Environmental Law Clinic (6627)

**For 2019–2020, Environmental Law Seminars may include Food and Agriculture. Energy Law Seminars may include The U.S. Electric System & Sustainability, Energy Commodities Trading, and Electric & Natural Gas Regulation.

A minimum of 16 credit hours from the following courses is required including Environmental Law (6430) unless the student has previously completed a survey course in U.S. environmental law and one of the following courses: Air Pollution Control (6432), Water Pollution Control (6434), or Control of Solid and Hazardous Wastes (RCRA & CERCLA) (6442).* For U.S. law school graduates this requirement must include 4 credits graded on the basis of a research paper or research papers. This typically entails the completion of Thesis (6690-91) or two research papers, each of which is written in connection with a 2-credit course. For non-U.S. law school graduates, completion of 2 credits graded on the basis of a single research paper or Thesis (6690-91) is required. Any research paper used to satisfy the written work requirement must be at least 8,000 words in length, and U.S. law school graduates must achieve a minimum grade of B+. For students who choose to write a thesis, Thesis (6690-91) and a minimum of 12 credits in the field of study are required. Students are encouraged to write a thesis.

  • Air Pollution Control (6432)
  • Water Pollution Control (6434)
  • Energy Law and Regulation (6438)
  • Energy Law Seminar (6441)
  • Control of Solid and Hazardous Wastes (RCRA & CERCLA) (6442)
  • Oil and Gas Law (6443)
  • International Climate Change Law (6455)
  • Environmental Negotiations (6458)
  • Atomic Energy Law (6459)
  • Environment and Energy Policy Practicum (6460)
  • International Project Finance (6545)
  • Graduate Independent Legal Writing (6696) (Energy Law topic)

*Property (6208) also will be available; only students with a non-U.S. law degree who plan to take the New York bar examination may count this course toward the 16 credits required in the field.

Last updated September 2019

About the School

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