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All VLS Courses

Course Name

Administrative Law


Provides students with a working knowledge of the general principles of administrative law;  implementation of legislative policy through administrative agencies, including the role of administrative agencies in the governmental process, rulemaking, adjudication, and judicial review of agency actions.

Advanced Energy Writing Seminar


This seminar provides students an opportunity to produce a significant written paper based on sophisticated research and thinking about a key area in energy policy and law. Seminar topics include proposals for reducing the economic and environmental costs of meeting energy needs. Efforts to reduce costs through more efficient delivery and end-use are assessed, with specific attention to the statutory, regulatory, and contractual techniques for creating sound incentives.

Advanced Environmental Legal Research


Provides in-depth exposure to the most useful, efficient strategies and resources for environmental law research, including highly specialized information databases, advanced administrative law research, legislative history, and environmental news/updating services.

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Agricultural Biotechnology and the Law


This seminar provides students with a multidisciplinary working knowledge of innovations in agricultural biotechnology, of the legal institutions involved in its development and use, and of the theoretical underpinnings and normative influences that shape the debate about agricultural biotechnology.

Air Pollution Law and Policy


An exploration of the major programs and regulatory strategies embodied in the Clean Air Act that are used to address conventional air pollution, toxic air pollution, and greenhouse gas pollution. 

America's Energy Crisis


This course addresses the fundamental crisis in which growing energy demands are threatening the buffering capacity of our global atmosphere, while also producing the greatest emissions of most primary pollutants, and the struggle to identify and create the legal elements necessary to promote and ensure solutions.

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Animal Law


This course will illustrate how animal lawyers are advancing the U.S. legal system in the interest of protecting all animals. Although our laws view animals as personal property, these lawyers and policymakers craft legal and policy arguments, and act on innovative litigation strategies, to keep the law evolving.

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Animal Rights Jurisprudence


A discussion of legal rights for nonhuman animals, the sources and characteristics of fundamental rights, why nonhuman animals are presently denied them, why all humans are presently entitled to them, whether they should be available for nonhumans under the common law and, and what strategies are available for obtaining them.

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Animals and the Law


This course considers the tensions inherent in trying to serve the needs of humans and animals, plus constitutional limitations of justifiability, due process, and First Amendment guarantees. Students  become familiar with litigation tools commonly used in animal law practice.

CERCLA Law and Policy

Matt Chapman

Examines CERCLA's broad liability and cost recovery provisions, emergency response and cleanup requirements that extend beyond the usual Superfund sites.  Brownfields, natural resources damages, community involvement, recent Supreme Court decisions and statutory amendments will also be addressed.  The course will examine how parties escape or limit  liability through due diligence, defenses,  pollution prevention, settlement, and cost allocation.