LL.M. Concentrations

Director L. Paddock; Faculty Advisers R. Glicksman, S. Murphy, D. Shelton

The Environmental & Energy Law Program offers programs of study in four specialized fields—Environmental Law, Government Procurement and Environmental Law, Energy and Environmental Law, and International Environmental Law. Twenty-four credit hours are required for the degree.  Course requirements for each field of specialization are given below: 


LL.M. in Environmental Law

A minimum of 16 credit hours from the following courses is required.* For U.S. law school graduates, this requirement must include completion of Air Pollution Control (6432), Water Pollution Control (6434), and Control of Hazardous Waste (RCRA & CERCLA) (6462).  In addition, this requirement must include 4 credits graded on the basis of a research paper.  This typically entails completion of two research papers, each of which is written in connection with a separate 2-credit course.

For non-U.S. law school graduates, this requirement must include completion of one of the following courses: Law 6432, 6434, or 6462.  Non-U.S. law school graduates may enroll in Environmental Law (6430), which will count toward the 16-credit Environmental Law curriculum requirement.  In addition, this requirement must include 2 credits graded on the basis of a research paper.

The reserach paper must be at least 8,000 words in length and U.S. Law School graduates must achieve a minimum grade of B+. For students who choose to write a thesis, Thesis (6690-91) and a minimum of 12 credits in the field of study are required.  Students are encouraged to write a thesis.

  • Wildlife and Ecosystems Law (6431)
  • Air Pollution Control (6432)
  • Water Pollution Control (6434)
  • Trade and Sustainable Development (6435)
  • Coastal, Navigation, and Wetlands Resource Law (6437)
  • Energy Law and Regulation (6438)
  • Energy and the Environment (6439)
  • Natural Resources Law (6440)
  • Control of Solid and Hazardous Wastes (RCRA & CERCLA) (6442)
  • Oil and Gas Law (6443)
  • Regulation of Toxic Substance Risk (6444)
  • Environmental and Toxic Torts (6449)
  • Federal Facilities Environmental Law Issues (6450)
  • Environmental Issues in Business Transactions (6452)
  • International Environmental Law (6454)
  • International Climate Change Law (6455)
  • Environmental Negotiations (6458)
  • Atomic Energy Law (6459)
  • Environmental Crimes (6464) 
  • Environmental Crimes Project (6465)
  • Environmental Law Seminar (Commodities Trading Regulation Law) (6466)
  • Graduate Environmental Placement (6468)
  • Environmental Lawyering (6469)
  • International Project Finance Law (6545) 
  • Human Rights and Environmental Protection (6571)

*Torts (6206) and Property (6208) will also be available; only students with a non-U.S. law degree who plan to take the New York bar examination may count these courses toward the 16 credits required in the field.


LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Law

Energy is at the forefront of national discussions on issues ranging from environmental protection to national security. Washington is at the epicenter of these discussions. The Energy and Environmental Law concentration provides students with the academic background needed to enter this growing field of law. It also offers students the unique opportunity to intern with federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as some of the nation’s leading energy non-profit organizations.  

Thesis (6990–91) and a minimum 11 credits from the following courses are required; for U.S. law school graduates, if the thesis is waived, an additional 4 credits in courses in the field of environmental law, graded on the basis of a research paper, are required; for non-U.S. law school graduates if the thesis is waived, an additional 4 credits in courses in the field of environmental law, including 2 credits graded on the basis of a research paper, are required.

  • Air Pollution Control (6432)
  • Energy Law and Regulation (6438)
  • Energy and the Environment (6439)
  • International Climate Change Law (6455)
  • International Project Finance (6545)

LL.M. in Government Procurement and Environmental Law

The Government Procurement and Environmental Law field addresses the environmental work done by governments at the federal, state, and local level using government contracts, and the fact that many firms doing business with the government have legal problems that involve both contracting and environmental laws. 

For students in this field, Thesis (6990–91) and a minimum 12 credits from the following courses are required; for U.S. law school graduates, if the thesis is waived, an additional 4 credits in courses in the field graded on the basis of a research paper are required; for non-U.S. law school graduates, if the thesis is waived, an additional 4 credits in courses in the field, including 2 credits graded on the basis of a research paper, are required.

  • Air Pollution Control (6432)
  • Water Pollution Control (6434)
  • Control of Solid and Hazardous Wastes (RCRA & CERCLA) (6442)
  • Formation of Government Contracts (6502)
  • Performance of Government Contracts (6503)
  • Government Contracts Cost and Pricing (6506)

LL.M. in International Environmental Law

The International Environmental Law field was developed in recognition of the increasing focus of environmental policy on issues of global concern, from international trade to global climate change.

For students in this field, Thesis (6990–91) and a minimum 12 credits from the following courses are required; for U.S. law school graduates, if the thesis is waived, an additional 4 credits in courses in the field graded on the basis of a research paper are required; for non-U.S. law school graduates, if the thesis is waived, an additional 4 credits in courses in the field, including 2 credits graded on the basis of a research paper, are required.

  • Environmental Law (6430) and one of the following 3 courses:
  • Air Pollution Control (6432) or
  • Water Pollution Control (6434) or
  • Control of Solid and Hazardous Wastes (RCRA & CERCLA) (6442)
  • Trade and Sustainable Development (6435)
  • International Environmental Law (6454)
  • International Climate Change Law (6455)
  • International Law (6520)
  • International Business Transactions (6522) or International Organizations (6530)
  • Environmental Law Seminar (International Environmental Governance) (6466)

Full- and Part-Time Study

About two-thirds of environmental and energy law graduate students attend full time and complete the program in one calendar year (two semesters and one summer). Part-time students are expected to complete their degree requirements in two calendar years. Admission to the program for both full- and part-time students is generally granted for the fall semester; spring admission may be allowed in special circumstances at the discretion of the program director.  


Joint Degree with the Milken Institute of Public Health (LL.M./M.P.H.)

The Law School and the Milken School of Public Health offer a joint LL.M./M.P.H. program that includes a specialization in environmental-occupational health. Students must be admitted to both degree programs separately. Six credit hours of successfully completed course work may be transferred between programs. In addition, an LL.M./M.P.H. candidate may use the Law School's required thesis to satisfy a portion of the special project requirement of the M.P.H. program. A certificate program is also available.  


The Thesis and Research Opportunities

LL.M. students writing a thesis do so under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. The thesis represents the student's synthesis of course work into a creative study that is submitted in the form of a publishable law review article. The faculty assists students in selecting cutting-edge topics, works with students on thesis development, and provides advice on potential publishing opportunities. This major research project is a catalyst for students to learn to use a variety of published and unpublished information sources, and to develop opportunities to meet and discuss their ideas with some of the nation's leading policy and decision makers.  


Internships

Students can individualize their degree programs through the Graduate Environmental Placement course, which allows students to work in internships with government agencies or nonprofit organizations concerned with environmental or energy issues. Students can engage in legal analysis and policy formulation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality; the EPA; the Departments of Justice, Energy, Interior, and Defense; or may work for nonprofit environmental organizations. 


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