New Sustainability Specialization! You may customize your course of study, depending upon your goal to work internationally, within the United States, or both. The College of Law offers over forty courses in these advanced degree programs, divided equally between international and domestic issues. There are no required courses, you may customize your degree by selecting any approved courses. Course descriptions below are listed in two groupings, international and domestic courses. You can take any combination.

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Chart of Environmental and Natural Resources Courses, Fall 2014 »

Chart of Environmental and Natural Resources Courses, Spring 2014 »

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Graduation Requirements

Most courses are worth three credits. LLM and MRLS candidates are required to obtain a minimum of twenty-four credits and a minimum grade point average of 2.0. CS candidates must obtain a minimum of sixteen credits and a minimum grade point average of 2.0. LLM candidates may substitute an optional thesis for six credits of course work.

LLM and MRLS candidates must undertake a course of study for a minimum of two semesters or its equivalent. The CS may be completed in one semester.

You may undertake a course of study on a full- or part-time basis. A full-time candidate must complete the requirements for the award of Degree within one year of first registration. A part-time candidate must complete the requirements for the award of Degree within three years of first registration. Extensions must be approved by the Director of Graduate Degree Studies.

The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Discipline Courses

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Comparative Environmental Law

This course compares and contrasts the domestic environmental law regimes of five countries (Chile, China, India, Nigeria, US) and one supranational organization (EU). Domestic environmental law is a widely expanding field. It is relevant in a broad range of activities including policy development as well as evaluating potential and existing business and commercial arrangements. On the other hand, comparative law is a method of examining different legal systems, institutions, and problems. In this course, the aim of a comparative approach is to gain insights regarding and make observations about legal matters involving environmental issues that would be limited if considered only in the context of one country’s approach. Comparison in this manner is often an extremely effective way of reaching a better understanding, not only of issues generally but of a particular country’s system and its possibilities and limitations.

Issues in particular that are considered: Key drivers, including topical events that influence environmental issues in the various countries; How environmental policy is made; Relationship of environmental policy vis-à-vis other policies (e.g., economic development); Specific environmental laws/regulations covering, e.g., air, waste, and water pollution; Remedies Enforcement.

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Economics of Natural Resources Investment & Finance

The course deals with the basic concepts of financial evaluation topics and issues relevant to a lawyer’s participation in a project. Students are introduced to the concepts of the time value of money, spreadsheet analysis, discounted cash flow, internal rate of return, payback, and profitability measures. Students should obtain sufficient knowledge to prepare simple financial evaluation spreadsheets and to understand their usefulness in structuring and negotiating deals. Three semester hours.

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Energy Law

The regulation of production, conversion, transportation, distribution and pricing of fossil, hydroelectric, nuclear and other conventional sources of primary energy; the regulation of inexhaustible, renewable energy resources, including energy from the sun, wind, biomass, oceans, earth (geothermal), and rivers (low-head hydroelectric). Emphasis on new legislative and judicial development relating to coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear sources, on related international environmental and taxation considerations, and administrative and common law responses to new technologies that use and disseminate power from sun, wind, biomass, ocean, geothermal, and river resources. Three semester hours.

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Environmental Ethics and Justice
This course provides a broad analytical consideration of ethical environmental policy-making. Students consider the historical aspect of environmental ethics as the various ethical approaches to making a decision concerning the environment. The class also explores the roles that the law, economics, and society’s values play in environmental ethics.

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Environmental Law

The major federal laws and programs for environmental protection, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, wildlife laws, landform preservation laws, and public resource laws. Federal laws are compared to common law remedies. Issues of economics and technology are explored, as are tactics of environmental litigation, legislative lobbying, and administrative agency enforcement. Administrative Law is recommended, but not required. Three semester hours.

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Environmental Law Clinic

The Environmental Law Clinic is a joint undertaking of the Law School and the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center is perhaps the most successful litigation environmental group in the nation, winning approximately 85% of its cases. The Center is dedicated to the preservation, protection and restoration of biodiversity, native species, ecosystems and public lands. Clinic students help handle Federal Court litigation under the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Forest Management Act, the Wilderness Act and other federal environmental statutes. The clinic emphasizes hands-on legal work to the extent possible and strives to expose students to career opportunities in public interest environmental law. The clinic is designed to serve as a capstone experience to law students specializing in environmental law, who have taken appropriate courses, and desire to practice what they have learned before leaving the school.

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Environmental Law Seminars: Wildlife Law

The course covers Federal Wildlife Law including the constitutional underpinnings of Federal Wildlife Law and focuses on the Endangered Species Act with some coverage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and similar laws. The course focuses on new approaches to species and habitat preservation, paying particular attention to Colorado species. Three semester hours.

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Hazardous Waste & Toxic Substances Law

The course focuses exclusively on the different aspects of toxic and hazardous waste law by studying the dominant statutory materials. It provides the student with a thorough background in both the legal and political issues commonly seen in toxic and hazardous waste law. The course concentrates on the practical legal dimensions of this growing subspecialty of environmental law. Prerequisite: Environmental Law or Natural Resources Law. Three semester hours.

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Indian Law

Beginning with a historical overview of Indian law, the course focuses on the complex set of laws and rules governing jurisdiction on the reservation, including tribal rights and authority, extension by states of jurisdiction within reservations, and federal laws and policies which affect Indian life. Topics include Indian treaties; hunting, fishing, and gathering rights; land claims; water rights; the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968; the civil rights of Indians both on and off the reservation; the federal government’s “trust responsibility;” criminal jurisdiction; civil jurisdiction; and tribal sovereignty. Three semester hours.

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Indian Law Seminar

Each year a specialized topic is selected to be taught in a seminar format. Past topics
have included Gaming, Water Rights, Natural Resources, and so forth. Three semester hours

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International and Comparative Mining Law & Policy

The basic concepts of mineral law, as practiced in various jurisdictions, including exploration, mining, and environmental protection and reclamation issues. Focus on current evolution of mining legislation, mineral investment agreements, major actors and their legal and policy status. Students will develop an understanding of the general approaches, legal frameworks, policies, and agreements used to regulate the mining industry in key jurisdictions outside the United States. Three semester hours.

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International and Comparative Petroleum Law & Policy

The basic concepts of international law relating to petroleum investment, current elements of petroleum legislation, and petroleum investment agreements (production-sharing, joint venture, service, concession, management contracts), including dispute settlement. Review of the major actors (international petroleum companies, state petroleum enterprises, and government agencies) and their legal and policy status. Focus on understanding general approaches, policies, and agreements used to regulate the petroleum industry in key selected jurisdictions outside the United States. Three semester hours.

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International Business Transactions

The core course for students interested in the transactional part of international business. It addresses the legal problems faced by individuals and business enterprises in international commercial transactions. It introduces the student to basic concepts related to the conduct of business in the world community. Subjects covered include: forms of international business; agreements for the international trading of goods; financing the international trading of goods; imports; exports; transfer of technology; doing business with developing countries; and non-market economics. Two semester hours.

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International Business Transactions: Finance

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International Business Transactions (Fed. Reg.)

Federal regulation will examine the ability of the federal government to control international trade. The focus of the course will be U.S. export controls, embargoes, antiterrorism regulations that apply to international commerce, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Students will prepare a compliance program integrating these regulations into a workable framework for a company. Three semester hours.

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International Conflict Resolution and Management

At Main Campus Spring Quarter. This course will focus on the role international law and organizations can play in preventing, managing and resolving international conflicts. The role assigned to these organizations under their charters as well as the role they have assumed in practice will be examined. The UN, regional organizations and NGO’s?s will be included. Alternative to the use of force will constitute the main inquiry. Requires: Exam or research paper. 2 semester hours.

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International Environmental Law

This course provides an introduction to the growing network of international law (multilateral and bilateral treaties, customary law, adjudications, etc.) controlling the environment. The course focuses upon international legal issues including global climate change, transboundary pollution, resource depletion, toxic wasted export, biodiversity and wildlife/plant extinction, deforestation, desertification, ocean pollution, sustainable development, etc. (The internal domestic environmental laws of individual countries receive some attention as do trade law, but these are really reserved for courses in Comparative Law and International Business Transactions, respectively). Limited to 20 students. 3 Semester Hours.

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International Human Rights

The course will begin with a general overview of international human rights law and the legal structure of international economic development (including an examination of development agencies such as the World Bank and others). Two semester hours

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International Law

The foundation course in public law, treaties, systems, and policies binding nations into a “world community of law,” with special emphasis on the origins of international law, statehood, international responsibility and claims, use of force and human rights. Three semester hours.

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International Organizations

Advanced study of international organizations 2 semester hours.

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International Trade and Investment

This course addresses the national and international legal and regulatory features of international economic developments. The discussion is focused on, in addition to the U.S. economic regulation of trade and investment, bilateral and multilateral regulatory mechanisms including the international monetary fund, the World Bank, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and regional trade and investment groups in the international arena.

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International Water Law

A global overview of water law, systems, and practice in the modern world – possibly our most serious 21st century resource crisis. Coverage of hydrology, history, national legal systems, and modern international treaties and cases, with special emphasis on sustainable development, equitable utilization, pollution control and ecosystem protection in multi-nation water basins.

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Land Conservation Transactions

This course covers the fundamental law and principles related to land conservation. It is a research based class, and students are responsible for researching and presenting information regarding a specific conservation project. This course will provide all the background necessary to allow students to conduct a meaningful research foray in the land conservation area. 3 semester hours.

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Land Use Planning

An examination of public controls and powers used in the regulation of privately owned land. The master plan, the official map, subdivision regulation, zoning, eminent domain, and urban renewal are planning techniques that are analyzed which restrict the private use of land. Special problems in land use planning also studied include exclusionary zoning; slow growth ordinances; regulation of aesthetics; regulation of natural resources development; and inverse condemnation. Three semester hours.

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Mining Law

Acquisition of title to and development of deposits of hard minerals and energy resources under the mining and mineral leasing laws of the federal and state governments in the western United States, with emphasis upon the practices and procedures of the various proprietary and regulatory agencies responsible for the management and administration of public lands. Resolution of competitive demands for exclusive and multiple use of public lands for mineral production and conservation, and for other public and private purposes. Three semester hours.

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Natural Resources Law

Students survey the primary natural resources subject matter areas: water law; mining law; oil and gas law; public land law; environmental law; and energy law. The course is designed primarily for students who wish to have an introduction to and an overview of the entire natural resources law area in one course. Three semester hours.

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Natural Resources Distinguished Practitioner Seminar

Students work on the following skills: legal writing and drafting of memos and positions papers, working with legal documents (client development, ensuring good relations with senior partners, working with opposing counsel, practice options before judges, administrative agencies, legislators, the art of negotiating deals, legal ethics and professionalism, and maintaining one’s sanity (and family) while engaged in the practice of law.

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Negotiation and Mediation

The course examines principles of negotiation, bargaining and dispute problem solving. It also builds the development of skills in negotiation and later mediation.

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Negotiation in Spanish

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Negotiation of Natural Resources Agreements

The general approaches, primary issues, and motivations pertaining to the negotiation of large, internationally funded petroleum and mining projects. Focus on the negotiation of “first-tier” agreements between transnational companies and governments, and on joint venture agreements between private parties. The course addresses negotiations methodology, and also features a number of guest lecturers who present actual case studies. Three semester hours.

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Oil and Gas Law

Characteristics of various oil and gas interests; tortuous invasions of mineral rights; problems in co-ownership of mineral estates; analysis of important clauses in the oil and gas lease; implied covenants in oil and gas leases; creation and transfer of mineral interests and problems created thereby; transfers by lessor or lessee; pooling and unitization; state conservation regulations. The field of oil and gas law on private lands as distinguished from the public domain. Three semester hours.

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Practitioner in Residence (Nat. Resources)

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Public Land and Resources Law

This course will address law, policy and procedures governing the lands managed by the federal government (U.S. Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, etc.) as well as state and local government lands. The interwoven law, history and economics controlling acquisition and allocation of public lands and resources are traced, with close examination of traditional commercial uses (water, minerals, timber, range) and other resource categories (wildlife, recreation, preservation). Three semester hours.

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Renewable Energy and Project Finance Law

This course explores the legal, economic, technological, and policy underpinnings of the Renewable Energy Industry, global warming, and associated implications to the electric utility and transportation sectors. Guest lectures will describe the state of the art technologies such as solar, geothermal, wind, biomass and hybrid vehicle development. The course will address both domestic and international perspectives on renewable energy development including the Kyoto Protocol. A detailed introduction to the law of energy project finance will also be presented, which will provide the student with the theory and tools needed to structure and develop domestic and international energy production projects. (Project Finance Law is now a substantial practice area at major international law firms.) Seminar type of class, not test, but research paper required. Contract Law is a prerequisite, and an interest in energy or environmental law is recommended. 2 semester hours.

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Russian for Lawyers 1 & 2

This sequence of courses will introduce students to the fundamentals of the Russian language, with emphasis on legal and economic vocabulary. More specifically, this will include vocabulary and reading assignments that involve finance and banking, insurance, international trade and stock exchange/securities matters. Russian for Lawyers I is the prerequisite for Russian for Lawyers II. Three semester hours.

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Spanish for Lawyers: Int. Transactions

Students will acquire basic professional and technical Spanish. Students will become familiar with the legal framework in which business, in Spanish-speaking countries, is conducted. This legal framework will include working with foreign legal cultures; business formations; and civil law jurisdictions and institutions. Students will also become familiar with the culture and specific idiomatic expressions of Spain and Latin American countries. Three semester hours.

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Sustainable Development and Trade

This course introduces the students to the convergence of trade, environment, and development issues, addressing areas of conflict and synergies among them. The seminar will focus on making globalization compatible with sustainable development by integrating trade policies with policies that address all other aspects of “human development,” such as, environmental concerns, human rights, gender issues, and governance. The seminar will also cover how to reform international organizations that address trade, and development. To emphasize the conflicts and synergies, relevant cases including the WTO Reformulated Gas Decision, the Shrimp-Turtle Case, and the Banana Wars will be studied. 3 semester hours.

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Sustainable Development in the EU

This course will focus on the historic discussion now underway within the European Community with respect to how sustainable development is and will be integrated into other policies. The European Community’s efforts with regard to sustainable development are particularly significant viewed in the context of: (a) the impact it will have on all sectors of European economy as well as (b) the fact that the Community represents the world’s largest single market. Three semester hours.

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Water Law

Water resource law, including systems of private property rights in water and its use; management, administration and regulation of water rights acquisition and uses, including environmental controls; public planning; federal, interstate and international water problems and policies.

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Recommended Related Courses:

Advanced Legal Research
Advanced Legal Writing
Administrative Law
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Comparative Law
Directed Research
Internship Studies

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