ENVIRONMENTAL LAW PROGRAM
Berkeley Law was one of the first major law schools to enter the field of environmental law, and our program remains as strong as ever today. Our Environmental Law Program offers students opportunities to take a broad range of courses in the environmental and energy field and to engage in cutting-edge research and writing. It also offers the chance to explore interdisciplinary perspectives on the environment, to obtain vital practical experience, and to connect with the dynamic and cutting edge Bay Area environmental law community. In 2018, our environmental law program was ranked third overall by US News and World Reports and was the highest ranking environmental law program of the top 10 law schools.
In addition to its curricular offerings, the Environmental Law Program offers students opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary research with faculty and staff through the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE). CLEE works to develop smart, practical solutions to critical environmental and energy challenges including climate change, renewable energy, sustainable water, and healthy oceans.
Students also have the opportunity to engage in hands-on legal experience through the Environmental Law Clinic (ELC). ELC has three main goals: making students creative and effective environmental lawyers, making an environmental difference, and addressing the environmental legal needs of underserved communities.
Students can also participate in Ecology Law Quarterly (ELQ), 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 leaders in the field.
ENERGY LAW PROGRAM
Transitioning to a sustainable energy and environmental path represents one of the greatest challenges in human history, and also creates myriad opportunities for professionals who are trained to take advantage of them. Berkeley Law’s Energy Law Program prepares the next generation of leaders to face this monumental task by providing interdisciplinary perspectives and an ever-evolving set of tools.
The Energy Law Program is uniquely situated to leverage excellence across many disciplines and combines the efforts of the school’s leading programs in the fields of energy, environment, law and technology, intellectual property, and business and finance. In addition to CLEE, the program collaborates with the Berkeley Center for Law and Business (BCLB) and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT).
The curriculum offerings include courses in areas such as energy regulation, renewable energy and alternative fuels, and energy project finance, and incorporates curriculum spanning multiple disciplines. Students may also engage in faculty-supervised research, either with individual faculty or through CLEE, BCLB, or BCLT, or apply to extern in nearby governmental or nongovernmental organizations.
POLICY WORK & EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Berkeley Law has long been a center of environmental and energy innovations, and it remains in the forefront today on issues ranging from climate change to coastal zone management to renewable energy. Students have the opportunity to participate in this work in several ways:
- At the Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) students engage in hands-on legal experience in administrative agency practice, litigation, legislation, and policymaking in the environmental arena. Wherever possible projects are designed to enhance social justice while promoting environmental sustainability, and to create stronger links between these movements.
- CLEE provides in-house opportunities for law students to work on environmental and energy policy projects on an ongoing basis, addressing topics such as climate change, renewable energy, water quality, and ocean resources.
- Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (SLPs) 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.