Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

272.2 sec. 001 - Environmental Justice: Race, Class, and the Environment (Fall 2024)

Instructor: Michelle Ghafar  
Instructor: Chelsea Hsin-Feng Tu  
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 3
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


F 10:00 AM - 12:40 PM
Location: Law 107
From August 23, 2024
To November 22, 2024

Course Start: August 23, 2024
Course End: November 22, 2024
Class Number: 32564

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 13
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 23
As of: 07/16 11:57 PM

Environmental justice describes a social and political movement to seek greater equity in the distribution of environmental harms and benefits in our society and, in particular, to address the disproportionate impacts of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color. This course explores the intersection between traditional environmental law and civil rights, and how decision-making affects not only our natural environment but also our lived environment. The course will provide an overview of traditional and emerging environmental justice topics, examine the innovative methods practitioners are using to address systemic environmental inequalities, and help students develop practical advocacy and litigation skills needed for environmental justice attorneys in California.

Instructor Bios:
Michelle Ghafar is a senior attorney with Earthjustice. Based in San Francisco, Michelle works on oil and gas, clean air, and clean energy issues. She litigates cases in state and federal court, in addition to handling advocacy before state and local agencies. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Michelle provided reentry legal services at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. She is a graduate of UCLA School of Law, where she completed the Epstein Public Interest Law and Policy Program and the Critical Race Studies Specialization. She is admitted to practice in California.

Chelsea Tu is the executive director of Monterey Waterkeeper. Previously, Chelsea worked as a senior attorney at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, where she advocated for sustainable land use and infrastructure investments in low-income communities of color in the San Joaquin Valley. Chelsea also led climate justice advocacy at Public Advocates, and worked to protect freshwater resources, curb sprawl, and reduce toxins and pesticides at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This class may be counted as either an Option 1 class (two Option 1 classes satisfy the J.D. writing requirement) or units from this class may count toward the J.D. Race and Law Requirement. This class may count for both requirements if and only if a student is electing Option 1 and the student's other Option 1 class being used to satisfy the J.D. writing requirement is not being counted towards any other requirement.

The Race and Law Requirement applies to the class of 2026 and beyond.

Student Services is available to answer questions.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Environmental and Energy Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Race and Law
Social Justice and Public Interest

If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may add a file like a syllabus or a first assignment to this page.

No reader.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

Go to Course Search