In many areas of law, the daily practice is not black-letter analysis and trial practice, but interdisciplinary collaboration and policy development. This is particularly true of environmental law, which combines legal issues in the common law, statutory frameworks, administrative law, international and transnational law, and constitutional law, along with scientific understanding, public communications, political persuasion, and ethics. Focusing on environmental issues, this discussion section and practicum will provide students with a chance to explore interdisciplinary policy practice through an open-ended semester-long simulation. The simulation is paired with a weekly discussion section to discuss a variety of issues in environmental law and policy.
This course’s practical simulation will put students into teams to address a real-world environmental policy issue. Each team will approach the issue from a different perspective (for example, one team will represent environmental interests while another will represent a regulated industry or the government). Students will prepare memos, comment letters, presentations, and public statements based on their own research, in response to the arguments of their classmates, and in consideration of their overall strategic and legal goals. In the discussion component of the course, students will dive into readings and discussions about the law, policy, ethics, and practical realities of environmental law.