Through a combination of rigorous academics and real-world work experience, UC Hastings Environmental Law students address the legal and public policy issues affecting the future of our planet.
Our San Francisco location is a hub for environmental litigation, with top private and public law firms, state and federal government offices, and NGOs, just steps away from campus. This area of the law is evolving quickly, creating a strong need for lawyers with on-the-ground experience to help shape policy and ensure that governments, businesses, and private citizens comply with existing environmental laws.
One way that UC Hastings’ students gain this experience is through the Environmental Law Clinic, where you could find yourself working with the California Attorney General’s Natural Resources Law Section, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Environmental and Natural Resource Division, the Center for Biological Diversity, or any of dozens of other Federal, State, or non profit litigation and advocacy organizations with offices in San Francisco. For students interested in courtroom experience, UC Hastings always sends a strong team to participate in environmental moot court competitions. Regardless of the experiential learning component you choose, this concentration guarantees hands-on work that challenges you to put classroom knowledge into action.
Students of Environmental Law are taught by some of the most exciting thought leaders in the field. For instance, you can study with Professor John Leshy, one of the leading environmental lawyers in the country. Professor Leshy served under both the Carter and Clinton administrations, the latter as Solicitor General within the U.S. Department of the Interior, and has written many of the textbooks used by students across the country.
Professor David Takacs teaches international environmental law and climate change law, and through his writing and research is helping to create a legal framework for carbon offsets. His popular Biodiversity Law class introduces students to an emerging area of the law dealing with how we can (and should) protect endangered life forms through extensive fieldwork. Professor Dave Owen is a world expert on Water Law, Land Use Law, and Administrative Law, offering students state-of-the-art practical skills in these disciplines.
Environmental Law demands lawyers who can engage with serious problems such as climate change, water pollution, and species loss. Students with a passion for how the law intersects with the environment will graduate from UC Hastings well prepared to take on the challenges and opportunities in this rapidly changing world. Our alumni have pursued a variety of fulfilling and lucrative environmental law opportunities within corporate law firms, for-profit public law firms, government agencies, and NGOs.
To enroll in the Concentration, you must complete a Concentrated Studies Application, have the Concentration Advisor sign the form, and file it with the Records Department in advance of your Fall 3L registration appointment.