LLM in Water & Environmental Law

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The LLM in Water & Environmental Law will prepare you to serve the diverse needs of businesses and developers, farmers and ranchers, non-profit organizations, and public agencies at every level from local to international.

Program Highlights

  • Experience first-hand observation and participation in solving complex relevant real issues.
  • Enjoy small class sizes.
  • Take advantage of our mentoring and career development resources.
  • Obtain special assistance with course selection and class success.
  • Online option*

* Online courses are pending WSCUC approval and ABA acquiescence.

The Water Resources Law graduate program emphasizes interdisciplinary natural resources classes; simulations and case studies; a robust field placement experience; and advanced substantive law course work. The combination of natural resources science, technology, and economics, with strong legal coursework and hands-on training, makes this program unique among other natural resources law graduate degrees. There are two courses of study.

Both tracks of the 24-unit LLM in Water Resources Law involve one-year (two semesters) to two-year (three or four semesters) courses of study. You have the option to take all courses online* or to enroll in the in-person program with some courses offered online.

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U.S. Law Track

This track focuses on issues affecting the United States. It is designed for students with a law degree to gain expertise in this growing field of environmental and natural resources law.

Required Courses (14 units)

  • Administrative Law, 3 Units
  • Environmental Practice, 3 Units
  • Science & Policy of Water Law (course typically offered every other year), 2 Units
  • Water Resources Law, 3 Units

Elective Courses*

(10 units — Some electives may not be offered every year. Please check the current course schedule for an updated list.)

  • California Environmental Cases & Places, 1 Unit
  • California Initiative Seminar, 2 Units
  • Environmental Law, 3 Units
  • Graduate-Level Directed Research, 1 to 2 Units
  • International Water Resources Law Seminar, 3 Units
  • Land Use Planning, 2 Units
  • LL.M Master's Thesis, 3 to 6 Units
  • Local Agency Practice, 2 Units
  • Mediation, 2 to 3 Units
  • Municipal Innovation Seminar, 2 Units
  • Natural Resources Law, 3 Units
  • Natural Resources, Water or Environmental Law Externships, 3 to 4 Units
  • Negotiations & Settlements, 2 to 3 Units
  • Ocean and Coastal Law, 2 or 3 Units
  • Representing Local Agencies, 1 Unit
  • Science & Policy of Water Law (Course typically offered every other year), 2 Units

* The director may approve other courses as electives on a case by case basis. The director may also waive some of the course requirements (and not units) if the students has taken a similar course prior to enrollment at McGeorge.

International Track

For law graduates interested in pursuing careers in government, non-governmental organizations, or private law firms dealing with international water and environmental issues. This program focuses on the unique laws, policies, and political dynamics as it applies to watercourses and other natural resources that are shared by two or more nations.

Required Courses (14 units)

  • Administrative Law, 3 Units
  • Environmental Practice, 3 Units
  • Science & Policy of Water Law (course typically offered every other year), 2 Units
  • Water Resources Law, 3 Units

Elective Courses*

(10 units — Some electives may not be offered every year. Please check the current course schedule for an updated list.)

  • California Environmental Cases & Places, 1 Unit
  • California Initiative Seminar, 2 Units
  • Environmental Law, 3 Units
  • Graduate-Level Directed Research, 1 to 2 Units
  • International Water Resources Law Seminar, 3 Units
  • Land Use Planning, 2 Units
  • LL.M Master's Thesis, 3 to 6 Units
  • Local Agency Practice, 2 Units
  • Mediation, 2 to 3 Units
  • Municipal Innovation Seminar, 2 Units
  • Natural Resources Law, 3 Units
  • Natural Resources, Water or Environmental Law Externships, 3 to 4 Units
  • Negotiations & Settlements, 2 to 3 Units
  • Ocean and Coastal Law, 2 or 3 Units
  • Representing Local Agencies, 1 Unit
  • Science & Policy of Water Law (Course typically offered every other year), 2 Units

* The director may approve other courses as electives on a case by case basis. The director may also waive some of the course requirements (and not units) if the students have taken a similar course prior to enrollment at McGeorge.

Fast Track

This accelerated program is available to McGeorge JD students for both the U.S. Law Track and International Track of the Water & Environmental Law LLM degree.

The Fast Track JD/LLM in Water & Environmental Law affords students the opportunity to earn both degrees on an accelerated timeline. Fast Track students may apply up to 12 credits of JD coursework towards their LLM degree in Water & Environmental Law, meaning the LLM degree may be completed in just one additional semester of full-time study or a year of part-time study. Fast track students may specialize in either U.S. or international water and environmental law.

Program Requirements

The Fast Track LLM is an executive education program designed for recent McGeorge graduates. Courses are offered during evenings for the working professional. McGeorge JD students can apply for the Fast Track program and are encouraged to consider this option during academic planning. The Fast Track LLM degree requires:

  • 24 units of Water & Environmental Law study, up to 12 units of which are completed as part of the JD degree
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.33 on a 4.33 scale

Courses Include

  • Administrative Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Practice
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Water Resources Law Seminar
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Ocean and Coastal Law
  • Water Resources Law
  • Water or Environmental Field Placement

Student Testimonials

"I could not be happier with the practical water law education I gained at McGeorge. I found a great job representing public agencies in actions to recover clean-up costs from companies that pollute groundwater with toxic chemicals right after graduation, thanks to the help of my professors."  — Bryan Barnhart, ’13, Litigation Associate at Miller, Axline & Sawyer

"I greatly enjoyed taking the Water Resources Law Practice course. I particularly benefitted from the classroom simulations of complex water resources challenges and disputes. These simulations effectively provided condensed practical experience — enough to get your feet wet — into issues that often take years to resolve. I developed insights and perspectives that will allow me to more effectively represent specific clients in actual water resources disputes."  — Hanspeter Walter, ’06, Attorney at Law at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard

"Regardless of where I end up in the long run—whether that be in areas of water quality, water rights, tribal water law or even working on public policy issues — my experiences at McGeorge have provided a solid foundation and knowledge base that I am confident will contribute to a successful career."  — Tori Sundheim, ’13, LLM in Water Resources Law ’14, Deputy Attorney General, Nevada Attorney General’s Office – Division of Government and Natural Resources

LLM Program Application Requirements

To be eligible to apply to one of our LLM programs, the applicant must present evidence of:

  • Graduation from a school of law approved by the American Bar Association; or
  • Admission to the Bar in a foreign jurisdiction, or of a state in the United States; or
  • Graduation from a faculty of law in a foreign country whose educational authority has authorized that faculty to issue degrees in law.

We also accept applications through LSAC.

LLM Application Checklist

The application fee will be waived upon request for all LLM applicants. To receive a code for an application fee waiver, please contact graduatelaw@pacific.edu.

Applicants must submit the following documents via the online application system, GradCAS. Note: Application materials in languages other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations:

  • Transcripts from all Universities and Colleges Attended
    • Applicants must submit transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate school attended
      • Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded for admission review purposes
        • Please note an official transcript is required to be submitted directly to Graduate and International Programs (see address below) before the first day of class.
      • International applicants must submit an official English translation or certified evaluation of an official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate school attended.
      • For applicants from countries in which a university will only release official transcripts to the student, the applicant may submit a photocopy if a notary or other official third party certifies that the photocopy is a true and correct copy of the original document.
  • Applicants must submit transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate school attended
    • Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded for admission review purposes
      • Please note an official transcript is required to be submitted directly to Graduate and International Programs (see address below) before the first day of class.
    • International applicants must submit an official English translation or certified evaluation of an official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate school attended.
    • For applicants from countries in which a university will only release official transcripts to the student, the applicant may submit a photocopy if a notary or other official third party certifies that the photocopy is a true and correct copy of the original document.
  • Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded for admission review purposes
    • Please note an official transcript is required to be submitted directly to Graduate and International Programs (see address below) before the first day of class.
  • International applicants must submit an official English translation or certified evaluation of an official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate school attended.
  • For applicants from countries in which a university will only release official transcripts to the student, the applicant may submit a photocopy if a notary or other official third party certifies that the photocopy is a true and correct copy of the original document.
  • Please note an official transcript is required to be submitted directly to Graduate and International Programs (see address below) before the first day of class.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Please submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Personal statement — Statements should address the following:
    • Relevant professional experience
    • Reason for application to the LLM program
    • Any additional significant information
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Please submit at least one original, signed letter of recommendation.
      • Only one letter is required, but two is preferred
    • Letters of recommendation should be from academic or professional sources.
    • Contact information for recommenders can be entered in the GradCAS system, or letters may be emailed directly to Graduate Law Admissions (see address below).
  • For non-native English speakers, proof of English proficiency:
    • Receipt of an undergraduate or graduate degree from an English language institution
    • Multi-year employment in a position which English is the primary language of communication; or
    • A minimum test score of 88 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Please submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Relevant professional experience
  • Reason for application to the LLM program
  • Any additional significant information
  • Please submit at least one original, signed letter of recommendation.
    • Only one letter is required, but two is preferred
  • Letters of recommendation should be from academic or professional sources.
  • Contact information for recommenders can be entered in the GradCAS system, or letters may be emailed directly to Graduate Law Admissions (see address below).
  • Only one letter is required, but two is preferred
  • Receipt of an undergraduate or graduate degree from an English language institution
  • Multi-year employment in a position which English is the primary language of communication; or
  • A minimum test score of 88 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Note: The F-1 student visa process may take two to three months. We encourage students to not wait to submit their application to allow sufficient time for processing.

Note to all applicants: Working with an agent will not affect your chances of acceptance and scholarship. All applicants should disclose in their application materials if they are working with an agent. We encourage all applicants to communicate directly with us at graduatelaw@pacific.edu.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

McGeorge educates lawyers for large and small law firms, government agencies and corporate legal departments in California, across the United States, and around the world. This has been our hallmark s ... Read More

McGeorge educates lawyers for large and small law firms, government agencies and corporate legal departments in California, across the United States, and around the world. This has been our hallmark since 1924 and is truer today than ever before. As the world grows smaller yet more complex, McGeorge responds by rigorously training our students for leadership positions in the global economy of the 21st century. Read less