This course will give students an experiential learning experience in the field of natural resources and energy law and policy. Students will work individually or in groups on real-world legal and/or policy problems related to natural resources or energy for clients or stakeholders currently engaged in this rapidly changing subject area.
The seminar portion of the course covers the key elements of natural resources and energy law and policy related to the experiential learning projects. Students will study the relevant statutes, case law, and underlying policies relating to these natural resources and energy issues. The course is primarily domestic in its focus, but some topics and examples of international natural resources and energy law and policy will be included. During the course, students will draw on pertinent and practical legislative and administrative materials.
Throughout the semester, we will focus on building real-world legal and policy skills. We will discuss the successes and failures of natural resources and energy law and policy, the trade-offs between preservation and development, future prospects for effective resource management and conservation, and the skills needed to effectuate successful outcomes on behalf of clients.
This is a four-credit course, with two credits awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for work outside of class on experiential learning projects. The class is designed to be appropriate for both law students and public policy students.
- The course is intended to help you develop your legal skills. During the experiential portion of the course, you will develop legal skills by working on a real-world legal or policy problem for a client. You will prepare a written analysis appropriate for delivery to the client. You will also prepare an oral presentation of your work, including findings and recommendations for the client. In undertaking this project, you will develop in-depth expertise on a natural resources issue as assigned.
- In preparing the written analysis for your client, you will have an opportunity to hone your legal writing and analytical skills. You will consider and determine how best to present your analysis and findings to the client in written form.
- You will also develop your skills in oral communication as you prepare and deliver a formal oral presentation of your project for the class and also for your client.
- During the seminar portion of the course you will participate in an in-class exercise in which you will role-play and develop skills relating to the preparation, writing and oral presentation of testimony and public statements for a mock Congressional hearing and a mock public comment meeting. You will gain experience in considering the perspective of the person you are role-playing and how best to present the position that person represents. Through these in-class exercises and the class readings, you should develop practical skills and a greater facility with actual Congressional and administrative documents relevant to many legal practices.
- By the end of this course, you should have a broad understanding of the overall legal framework for the administration of domestic natural resources. The focus will be on federal law and policy as it relates to the experiential projects being undertaken by the class, but you should also gain insights into selected state and international topics, particularly the interaction between federal and state law and policy.
- The course should provide you with a context for evaluating ongoing and fast-changing legal and policy issues and controversies relating to natural resources.