Intro to Environmental Law

Elective Course
Course Number: LAW 650
Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of natural resources and environmental law--a field that directly impacts our community and world. For students interested in practicising in this area, this class provides foundational knowledge for their careers. For those headed in other directions, this class provides basic literacy in a subject that is important for all lawyers to understand. Students learn about: (1) the legal and historical framework for understanding natural resources and environmental law; (2) key terminology and a taxonomy of regulatory approaches; and (3) several core environmental laws, inclulding NEPA, CWA, CAA, CERCLA, and the ESA. Special topics such as environmental due diligence, indigenous rights, and the clean and healthful environment clause in the Montana Constitution are also covered. Students also practice key lawyering skills including researching environmental laws, reviewing an environmental impact statement, working with agencies, and drafting an environmental complaint. The course emphasizes place-based learning and includes a field trip that explores the application of environmental law to the world around us. Assessment is through a mid-term and final exam.