Course Descriptions

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Spring 2018 Environmental and Energy Law Class Descriptions

Corporate Counsel Externship I (LWVL591)

Instructor(s): Beth Baier

1-4 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Environmental and Energy Law, Employment and Labor Law, Intellectual Property, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law, Health Law

The Corporate Counsel Externship Program consists of a work component and a class component and allows students to earn academic credit working in the legal department of a corporation, company or other business entity. Students may also work in other departments of a corporation as long as they are supervised by an on-site licensed attorney.

Students work a minimum of 50 hours per unit of credit and may receive 1-4 credits. Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, journals between student and professor relating to the field placement; periodic discussion boards on legal practice topics; a three-five page reflective paper at the end of the semester; an example of work product for professor review; and, satisfactory completion of work experience. The Externship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis. To review all the pertinent course resources, including course information, form, and helpful internet links, please see the Corporate Counsel Externship Handbook.

If you have been offered and have accepted a field placement, meet the eligibility requirements, agree to meet the course obligations and want to register for the Externship course, fill out the Field Placement Form. The Office of Career and Professional Development will then confirm your placement and instruct you on registering for the course.

Contact lawcareers@sandiego.edu with placement questions. Contact Professor John Sansone, Academic Director, at jsansone@sandiego.edu with academic questions.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the JD concentrations web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your work in this internship qualifies for a concentration.
Additional Information: JD Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

Energy Law and Policy Clinic I & II (LWVL518)

Instructor(s): Joseph Kaatz

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law, Public Interest Law
Prerequisite(s): Energy Law

The Energy Law and Policy Clinic provides students an opportunity to conduct legal and policy research in cooperation with a related agency, such as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Air Resources board. Agency staff, EPIC staff, and students work together to select one or more energy-or-climate change-related legal or policy research topics. Under the supervision of a practicing attorney and EPIC staff, students conduct a semester-long research project on the selected topic(s). Students will present results to the agency staff at the end of the semester. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis. 

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Environmental & Energy Law Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Environmental & Energy Law Concentration

Ocean and Coastal Law (LWEV565)

Instructor(s): Angela Howe

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law

This course will instruct students on environmental legal issues affecting the nation’s coasts, including but not limited to sea level rise, water quality, coastal management, beach access, and oil spill issues. The U.S. coastline supports a diverse ecosystem, provides for commerce and waterborne trade, offers valuable recreational resources, and is a source of food and energy. With the increasingly competing ocean uses, this course on coastal and ocean law will offer a critical look at emerging policy issues and legal frameworks, coupled with interesting and timely case studies. The course offers an in depth look into several environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, Oil Spill Pollution Act, Coastal Zone Management Act and others, as well as practical skills established through case studies and stakeholder exercises.

Public Interest Law & Practice (LWPP570)

Instructor(s): Robert Fellmeth

2-3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law, Public Interest Law, Health Law, Children's Rights

Public Interest Law & Practice (PILP) is a yearlong graded course in which students learn the substantive law governing the operation and decisionmaking of California regulatory agencies. Students may take the course for four or five units. Public interest lawyers represent interests that are diffuse, unorganized, and generally underrepresented - such as consumers, the environment, children, and the future - in governmental decisionmaking that affects them. PILP focuses on specific laws that enable public interest lawyers to effectively advocate for their clients. Specifically, PILP students study the sunshine statutes which require most agency decisionmaking to take place in public and guarantee public access to most agency records (the open meetings acts and the California Public Records Act) and the state Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the process agencies must follow to adopt regulations or take disciplinary action against the license of a licensee. Students also study important limitations on the power of agencies (including constitutional and antitrust limitations), and the functioning of the state legislature, which may enact, repeal, or amend the enabling acts of most agencies. As part of their coursework, students are assigned to monitor a major California agency; they travel all over the state to attend agency meetings; monitor and analyze agency activities, interview agency officials and licensees; and track rulemaking, legislation, and litigation affecting their agency. Twice during the year, students submit a written report covering the activities of their assigned agency, including recent legislation and court decisions affecting the agency and its licensees, which may be published. Students will also give public comment before their assigned agency during the spring semester, and participate in various simulated advocacy exercises in class throughout the academic year.

Note: This is a required course for the Public Interest Law Concentration (JD). This course only counts towards the Environmental and Energy Law Concentration (JD) if your course focus is on environmental or energy law. This course only counts towards the Health Law Concentration (JD) if your course focus is on health law.
Additional Information: Public Interest Concentration, Environmental and Energy Law Concentration

Public Interest Law Clinic (LWVL544)

Instructor(s): Robert Fellmeth

1-3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law, Public Interest Law, Health Law

Students who enjoy Public Interest Law and Practice frequently go on to take Public Interest Law Clinic, in which they may design their own writing or advocacy project related to regulatory or public interest law. In the past, these projects have included written critiques of agencies or agency programs; petitioning an agency to adopt regulations; drafting model legislation; participating in litigation to enforce the state's sunshine statutes; or submitting amicus curiae briefs on public interest issues pending appeal. Student critiques of publishable quality may satisfy USD's written work requirement. Students interested in Public Interest Law Clinic must secure a permission slip prior to pre-registration from Professor Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth at CPIL's offices. The clinic is graded on a 4-tier Pass-Fail basis.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Environmental and Energy Law Concentration and Health Law Concentration web pages for more information.
Additional Information: Environmental and Energy Law Concentration, Health Law Concentration