Course Descriptions

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Spring 2021 Environmental and Energy Law Class Descriptions

Administrative Law (LWPP510)

Instructor(s): Staff

4 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Children's Rights (JD), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (JD), Health Law (JD), Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Employment and Labor Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (MSLS)

This course discusses the basic rules and principles governing federal administrative agencies. Subjects covered include the procedures governing administrative agencies, judicial review of administrative action, and presidential and congressional controls over agencies. The rules governing agencies are quite different from those that govern courts. Knowledge of these rules has become increasingly important, as many practitioners are now likely to spend more time dealing with administrative agencies than litigating in court.

Note: This is a required course for the Environmental & Energy Law and Public Interest Law concentrations (JD). This course may be applied as part of the nine required credits for the Health Law Concentration (JD).
Additional Information: Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD), Public Interest Law Concentration (JD)

Corporate Counsel Externship I (LWVL591)

Instructor(s): Beth Baier

1-6 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (JD), Employment and Labor Law (JD), Health Law (JD), Intellectual Property (JD), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Employment and Labor Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG)

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 must work during the academic session for a minimum of 50 hours per unit of credit and may receive 1-6 credits. For purposes of corporate counsel externship work, the academic session is from the official start of classes to the last day of final exams. No academic credit may be earned for corporate counsel externship work outside this time period.

Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, student journals submitted to the professor relating to the field placement work; discussion boards on legal practice topics; a three-five page reflective paper at the end of the semester; an externship work product for professor review; and an on-site supervisor evaluation showing satisfactory completion of work experience. The Externship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

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. After you submit the form, the Office of Career and Professional Development will review it and send you an email with directions on how to enroll.

If you have any placements questions, read the FAQ's available at that link.  If the FAQ's do not answer your field placement questions, contact the Office of Career and Professional Development at lawcareers@sandiego.edu. If you have academic questions, contact Professor John Sansone, Academic Director, at jsansone@sandiego.edu.

Note:

Field Placement Form

 

There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the JD concentrations web pages for more information.


Additional Information: Concentrations, Field Placement Form

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 (JD), Public Interest Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG)
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

Environmental Law (LWEV520)

Instructor(s): Kelly Richardson

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), Environmental and Energy Law (MSLS)

This survey course addresses the principles that govern environmental law, including the respective roles of the courts, state and federal agencies, and citizen groups. Federal environmental statues covered include: The National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clear Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund). The course will also introduce California state environmental law through the California Environmental Quality Act and the Public Trust Doctrine.

Note: This is a required course for the Environmental & Energy Law (JD) concentration.
Additional Information: Environmental & Energy Law Concentration (JD)

International Environmental Law (LWIC539)

Instructor(s): Catherine MacKenzie

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (JD), International Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), International Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), LLM in International Law (LLMI)

This course introduces students to international environmental law and considers how law may be used to enhance international environmental protection. It commences with an overview of the international legal system in the context of environmental protection. It then discusses the history, development, sources and principles of international environmental law and reviews the role of the UN and other international agencies in the context of international environmental law-making. Next, it considers issues of particular interest to the United States. These may include climate change, energy, biodiversity and biotechnology, transboundary water, forests and protected areas, and environment and trade. It concludes by considering the resolution of international environmental disputes including international responsibility, the role of international courts and tribunals and the quantification of environmental harm.  

Law of the Sea (LWIC560)

Instructor(s): Nilmini Silva-Send

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Environmental and Energy Law (JD), International Law (JD), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMC), International Law (LLMC), Environmental and Energy Law (LLMG), LLM in International Law (LLMI), Environmental and Energy Law (MSLS)

Starting with the historic legal defense for the law of the sea with excepts from “ Mare Liberum”(in English, 1609, Grotius), students will examine the distribution of authority, and rights and obligations in the territorial and high seas, of flag states, coastal states and port states as laid out today in the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC). The LOSC is the most significant and most adhered to of all international law treaties. Other treaties governing marine pollution, and liability, and LOSC provisions related to the movement of refugees and human rights will also be covered. The final grade for the course will be based on your paper that will be eligible for written work credit.

Public Interest Law & Practice (LWPP570)

Instructor(s): Robert Fellmeth, Bridget Gramme, Debra Jorgensen

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

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, Jessica Heldman

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

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