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Environmental Law

Environmental law and policy inherently cuts across disciplinary fields, raising legal issues ranging from administrative to property law, and traversing disciplines as varied as economics and the natural sciences. As the nation’s leader in cross-disciplinary legal education, Penn Law offers the ideal preparation for a successful career in environmental law.

At Penn Law, students learn from Law School and University faculty who produce leading research as well as from courses with top practitioners, externships with governmental and nongovernmental organizations, and numerous other experiential learning opportunities.

Faculty Research

New study: Endogenous Decentralization in Federal Environmental Policies

Under most federal environmental laws and some health and safety laws, states may apply for “primacy,” that is, authority to implement and enforce federal law, through a process known as “authorization.” Some observers fear that states use authorization to adopt more lax policies in a regulatory “race to the bottom.” Howard Chang presents a model of interaction between the federal and state governments in a scheme of decentralization.

More on Environmental Law Faculty and Research

Sample Penn Law Courses

  • Animal Law and Ethics
  • Energy Law & Climate Change
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Lawyering
  • International Environment Law
  • Policy Analysis

More Courses at Penn

Take up to four classes throughout the University as part of your JD. Courses recently taken by Penn Law students include:

  • Risk Analysis and Environmental Management (Business Policy, Wharton)
  • Environmental Management: Law & Policy (Legal Studies & Business Ethics, Wharton)
  • Global Water Issues (Environmental Studies)
  • Modeling Geographical Space (Environmental Studies)
  • Business and the Natural Environment (Environmental Studies)

Clinics & Externships

Joint Degree & Certificates

Sample Student Groups