Academics and Clinicals
Gain a Broader Knowledge of Environmental Issues and Values
The program in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at UC Davis provides education in environmental practice while enriching students' understanding of the causes and consequences of environmental problems. Environmental lawyers must be creative problem-solvers, always ready to evaluate new approaches. At UC Davis, students not only learn the current law, they analyze the factors that do and should shape it. The curriculum is designed to prep our students for the practice of law in a variety of settings, from litigation to transactions to policymaking.
Beyond the Classroom
UC Davis School of Law specializes in creating practical legal experiences for all students. The law school sponsors teams in environmental moot court and negotiation competitions. Students gain invaluable first-hand experiences through environmental and natural resources law externships in government, public interest organizations, and private firms. These externships bring students face-to-face with the challenges of real-life environmental problems like remediating hazardous waste releases, allocating California's limited water resources, siting factory farms and other "locally undesirable land uses," dealing with climate change, and implementing international environmental agreements.
Students enhance their educations by participating in organizations, working on journals and organizing events. The law school offers over 40 different student organizations and five journals. Activities particularly useful to those interested in environmental law include:
- Agricultural Law Society
- Environmental Law Society
- Environmental Law Symposium
- Environs, Environmental Law and Policy Journal
California Environmental Law and Policy Center
The California Environmental Law and Policy Center serves as the focal point of King Hall's longstanding commitment to environmental law and policy for law students and faculty alike. It brings to the law school community numerous environmental speakers, conferences, symposia, convenings and other events. The Center facilitates student involvement in off-campus environmental law and policy initiatives, such as environmental moot court competitions, externships in public and private environmental law offices, and contacts with environmental policymakers.
Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society
UC Davis - Famous for Environmental Education and Interdisciplinary Research
UC Davis houses one of the broadest arrays of nationally and internationally renowned scholars dedicated to the study of the environment in the United States. Law students can take full advantage of the many practical opportunities and intellectual resources available when studying on a campus recognized for contributions in environmental education and interdisciplinary research and teaching.
Students can earn joint degrees, combining their JD program with nationally recognized programs in ecology, community development, international agricultural development, and others. Courses across campus are open to law students wanting exposure to other fields. Interdisciplinary courses, deliberately designed to bring together students from different educational backgrounds, are increasingly available. Training and research grants on topics such as biological invasions and hydropower licensing provide law students with opportunities to participate in multidisciplinary research teams. Various campus programs bring distinguished speakers to address current environmental and natural resource topics. The John Muir Institute of the Environment, the campus hub for interdisciplinary environmental research and outreach, sponsors a range of exciting programs, from speakers to research opportunities.
Environmental Law Certificate Program
The certificate program was initiated as part of the School's commitment to quality environmental legal education. The certificate is awarded upon successful completion of two core courses - Environmental Law and Administrative Law, a substantial research paper on an environmental or natural resources topic; and 11 units of elective environmental law classes.
Elective courses are offered on a rotating basis. Not all courses will be taught in any given year. Please check the Course Descriptions webpage for current course offerings.
Agricultural Law and Policy (Law 285C) (3 units)
Animal Law (Law 224) (2 units)
Energy Law (Law 282) (2 units)
Environmental Law Seminar (Law 282) (2 units)
International Environmental Law (Law 230) (3 units)
Land Use Planning (Law 256) (2 units)
Natural Resources Seminar (Law 265) (2 units)
Native American Law Seminar (Law 277) (2 units)
Ocean & Coastal Law (Law 264A) (2 units)
Public Land Law (Law 287) (3 units)
Public Regulatory Law (Law 235T) (3 units)
Water Law (Law 264) (3 units)
Join a Network of Graduates with Diverse, Rewarding Careers
UC Davis law alumni who studied environmental law enjoy great success in a wide range of settings. They serve as policy analysts, environmental managers, lawyers and advocates in legislatures, law and lobbying firms, consulting companies, nonprofit organizations, corporations and government offices throughout the world. Their practices involve counseling, real estate transactions, drafting and interpretation of legislation and regulations, civil and criminal enforcement, citizen suits, and policy development.