Environmental Law & Natural Resources
Since the inception of modern environmental and natural resources law in the late 1960s and 1970s, the field has become increasingly important, both in its own right and as a result of its interactions with more traditional fields of practice, such as real estate, insurance and corporate law. KU Law offers a rich range of opportunities to students interested in the practice of environmental and natural resources law.
Because of the breadth of faculty expertise in this area, the school is able to provide an extensive array of course offerings, ranging from introductory survey courses to advanced seminars. The students are also actively involved in environmental law issues, principally through an Environmental Law Society and participation in nationally sponsored environmental law moot court competitions.
- Environmental Law Survey
- Regulation of Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste
- Public Lands and Natural Resources
- Environmental Law Seminar
- Energy Law and Policy
- Biodiversity Law
- Water Law
- Oil and Gas Law
- Native American Natural Resources
- Independent Research
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate
The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate exposes students to the basics of this constantly changing area of practice so they can address environmental and natural resources law issues in whatever contexts they arise. Students must take a core group of courses that includes Environmental Law Survey, Public Lands and Natural Resources, and Administrative Law. They also must take a minimum of nine additional hours from an array of courses relevant to this area of the law, and they must complete a writing/clinical requirement.
Although the School of Law does not have a clinical program devoted specifically to environmental and natural resources law, students enrolled in the Legislative Clinic or the Public Policy Clinic may be able to arrange to study topics in this area of the law. The School of Law has an Environmental and Natural Resources Certificate. One of the requirements for receipt of the certificate is participation in a clinical or writing program with an environmental or natural resources law emphasis. This requirement may be satisfied by enrolling in the Legislative Clinic or the Public Policy Clinic or by serving in an externship with the Kansas City regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency or a local environmental or natural resources law public interest group.
Each year, interested students compete for the chance to participate in the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at the Pace University law school in New York. Winners of the internal competition prepare written briefs and prepare for oral arguments (with the assistance of the faculty) at Pace in February. In past years, the KU team has won the prize for the best brief and has frequently reached the late rounds of the competition. Several environmental law essay contests, such as the Hogan/Smoger Access To Justice Essay Contest, are also open to KU Law students. The winners receive prize money and their essays may be published.
The Environmental Law Society sponsors a variety of activities at the law school, including monthly meetings often attended by the KU environmental law faculty or by federal, state and regional practitioners with environmental expertise. In past years, the ELS has organized recycling programs at the law school and engaged in other activities related to local environmental issues.