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Environmental and Energy Law Certificate

The School of Law is currently in the process of transitioning its longstanding Environmental Law, Science & Policy Certificate Program into a new Energy & Environmental Law Area of Concentration:

The law around the development, sale, use and preservation of natural resources is the practice framework for energy and environmental lawyers. Pitt Law offers a flexible concentration that allows students to pursue transactional, regulatory, litigation, or policy-based courses in the area of energy & environmental law. Students pursuing this concentration may explore the law of shale plays, utility law, international commercial transactions, pollution control laws, conservation statutes, renewable energy incentives, and climate law and policy.

Energy and environmental law is often practiced in or through interactions with administrative agencies and tribunals. The Concentration exposes students to administrative decisionmaking, statutory interpretation, rulemaking and adjudication, and judicial review of agency decisions.

Students may pursue this concentration by taking foundational courses in environmental or energy law, 5-6 credits of electives, and 4-6 skills-based credits. 

By completing these courses, it is expected that students enrolled in the concentration will learn and understand the substantive and procedural law in the area of environmental and energy law and will acquire the ability to apply subject-matter expertise in the area of environmental and energy law in experiential settings (e.g., clinics and externships or through classroom simulations) that will benefit them as they enter a career in the environmental or energy field or in another field in which knowledge of environmental or energy law is important.

Please note that this program may require that you complete an internship, externship, or other field work at a facility or facilities external to the University and that such facility or facilities may require a criminal background check, an Act 33/34 clearance (if applicable), and perhaps a drug screen to determine whether you are qualified to participate.


Faculty Advisor:

Professor of Practice:

Visiting Associate Professor of Law:

Adjunct Faculty:

  • Prof. Kevin Abbott
    Reed Smith
  • Prof. Michael George
  • Prof. Penina Kessler Lieber
    Dinsmore & Shohl
  • Prof. Blaine A. Lucas
    Babst, Calland, Clements & Zomnir, P.C.
  • Prof. J. W. Montgomery, III
    Jones Day
  • Prof. David Overstreet
    Overstreet Law, LLC
  • Prof. Jon Perry
    Rosen, Louik & Perry, PC
  • Prof. Jennifer A. Smokelin
    Reed Smith


Advisory Committee Present Members:

  • Chester Babst, III (Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir, PC)
  • John E. Childe, Esq.
  • George Jugovic, Jr. (Dept. of Environmental Protection)
  • Jeffrey J. Lettrich (ALCOA)
  • Emily Lewis (Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir, PC)
  • Jennifer Smokelin (Reed Smith)
  • David Wagner (Reed Smith)
  • Howard J. Wein (Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney)
  • Mary Anne Wesdock (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board)
  • Maxine Woelfling (Morgan Lewis & Bockius)
  • Tishie Woodwell (U.S. Steel Corporation)

Past Members (including, but not limited to):

Cynthia D. Driscoll (Jones Day); Paul King, QEP (Duquesne University); Robin Reed Lunn (Mayer Brown); Louis A. Naugle (Reed Smith, LLP); Elissa Ann Parker (Environmental Law Institute); Anthony P. Picadio (Picadio Sneath Miller & Norton); Michelle I. Ritter (PPG Industries, Inc.)

Thanks to the members of the Advisory Committee for providing guidance in administering the Environmental Law, Science and Policy Certificate Program and aiding in fundraising efforts.

If you would like to support the Environmental Law, Science and Policy Certificate Program, please visit: Support Pitt Law.



Foundational Courses 
(1 course required)

  • Environmental Law & Practice (4 cr.) or Environmental Law (3 cr.)
  • Energy Law & Regulation (3 cr.)

Elective Courses
(5-6 credits required)

  • Administrative Law (3 cr.)
  • Oil & Gas Law (2 cr.)
  • The Law of Shale Gas Regulation (1 cr.)
  • Environmental Policy & Politics (2 cr.)
  • Environmental Justice Law Seminar (3 cr.)
  • Climate Change and the Law (2 cr.)
  • Land Use (3 cr.)
  • Scientific Evidence (2 cr.)
  • Expert Witness (2 cr.)
  • Toxic Torts (2 cr.)
  • Environmental Litigation (2 cr.)
  • Mining Law, History & Practice (2 cr.)
  • Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law (1 cr.)
  • Water & Shale Gas Development (1 cr.)
  • Energy & Environment (3 cr.)
  • International Energy Transactions (3 cr.)

Skills Component
(4-6 credits required)

  • Environmental Law Clinic (6 cr.)
  • Environmental Moot Court Competition (1 cr.)
  • Energy Law Moot Court Competition (1 cr.)
  • Environmental Litigation (2 cr.)
  • Externship in the area of Environmental Law or Energy Law (4 cr.)
  • Semester in D.C. Program Externship (8-10 cr.)