Environmental Law Program

Berkeley Law's Environmental Law Program

Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) was one of the first major law schools to enter the field of environmental law, and our program remains as strong as ever today. 

Berkeley Law offers students the opportunities to take a broad range of courses in the environmental and energy field; to engage in cutting-edge research and writing; to explore interdisciplinary perspectives on the environment; to obtain vital practical experience; and to connect with the Bay Area's environmental law community - one of the most dynamic in the country.

CLEE offers students an unparalleled program in environmental and energy law, one that reflects the broad interdisciplinary nature of this field. Regular course offerings are augmented by international and comparative environmental law courses. CLEE issues a Certificate in Environmental Law to graduating 3L and LLM students upon completion of specialization requirements.

The Environmental Law Program also provides the opportunity to perform research with its distinguished faculty and participate in the Ecology Law Quarterly, the nation’s leading environmental law journal. Students may become members, and eventually editors, of this pre-eminent student-run journal, writing articles and editing works submitted by other students, faculty members and outside authors.

Policy Work and Experiential Learning

Berkeley Law has long been a center of environmental innovations, and it remains in the forefront today on issues ranging from global warming to coastal zone management. Students have the opportunity to participate in this work in several ways:

  • Each year, students in the Workshop on Development and Environment analyze a major public project in California, meet with leading experts and members of the policy community, and produce white papers, amicus briefs, testimony, and more.  
  • Since 2010, the Environmental Justice Practice Project has engaged small classes of students in environmental justice projects in California's Central Valley.  
  • The field placement (externship) program provides students with the valuable opportunity to work with dozens of leading national environmental groups, government agencies, and other public interest organizations such as Earthjustice, NRDC, Sierra Club, and the California Attorney General's Office.
  • CLEE provides opportunities for law students to work on environmental and energy policy projects on an ongoing basis, addressing issues such as climate change, renewable energy, water quality, and environmental justice. 
  • Student-Initiated Legal Service Projects (SLIPs) give students the opportunity to work on environmental justice projects in their own community through partnership with Bay Area non-profit organizations.  
  • The Career Development Office and CLEE collect internship opportunities throughout the year and distribute them to all environmental and energy students.