FACULTY MEMORANDUM ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
Updated August 2011
Faculty: Craig Oren, Kathryn Kovacs
Adjunct Faculty: Heather Demirjian, Stephen Miano, Neil Wise
There are many different career paths for lawyers interested in environmental law. Governmental and public interest organizations provide obvious paths. But many more environmental lawyers work in the private sector, advising clients on the best means to get into and remain in compliance with environmental laws. Lawyers who specialize in real estate law also find themselves frequently involved in issues about the clean-up of polluted sites.
The field of environmental law is dominated by statutes -- statutes that are as complex as the Internal Revenue Code. So anyone preparing for a career in environmental law must understand how statutes are made and how they are interpreted. The course in Statutory Interpretation and Legislation is an important building-block course that should be taken early in your law school career.
The same is true of the course in Administrative Law. Environmental law is implemented by administrative agencies like the United States Environmental Protection Agency. So anyone practicing in this field must understand how administrative agencies make decisions and how agencies are supervised by the courts, the President, and the Congress.
Environmental Law focuses primarily on the Clean Air Act. That course aims to give students an understanding of the major policy issues in pollution control law (for instance: how much proof of the existence of a risk should be required before regulation? what are the pros and cons of the various regulatory tools? how should power be divided between the states and the federal government?) by a examination of several environmental statutes. There are also a number of advanced courses. Environmental Litigation, gives students a chance to examine litigation regarding the clean-up of abandoned hazardous waste sites under the Superfund law. Ocean and Coastal Law includes treatment of questions concerning the environment, specifically protection of marine life and pollution control. A new course recently added to the schedule is Natural Resources Law.
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact Professor Oren at email@example.com.