Top LL.M. Programs for Environmental Law 2017

Top LL.M. Programs for Environmental Law 2017

Environmental Law is an increasingly relevant LL.M. specialization as activists, businesses, politicians and policymakers grapple with climate change and how to prevent it. It is also an increasingly popular specialization among LL.M. students. Environmental Law programs cover local and international frameworks for environmental protection, the use of natural resources and climate change prevention. Students are also exposed to various related topics including water law, business and trade, indigenous land issues, environmental justice and historic preservation. An LL.M. in Environmental Law prepares students for work in private law firms, as environment and sustainability advocates, as educators and policymakers, and for work in international bodies.


Berkeley, California
Berkeley Law

Berkeley Law offers an LL.M. with the possibility to take a Certificate in Environmental Law. The school’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment focuses on the intersection between climate, energy and sustainable land use. Since Fall 2015 the school’s Environmental Law Clinic has offered hands-on legal experience. Berkeley’s was ranked fourth in the US News and World Report list of top law schools for Environmental Law in 2017.

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Los Angeles, California
UCLA

Based in Los Angeles, California, UCLA is located in the city with possibly the most enviable climate in the world. But this is also where LL.M. students come to learn environmental law and policy, with a comprehensive curriculum covering policymaking, the politics of environmental regulation and climate change research. The school’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment focuses on the environmental challenges facing policymakers.

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London, United Kingdom

The LL.M. at the University College London (UCL) offers Environmental Law and Policy as a specialism. This specialism covers both environmental and energy law in the EU, international environmental law and how environmental protection interacts with business and trade. The UCL Centre for Law and Environment advances research in how the law addresses climate and energy challenges.

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South Royalton, Vermont

The Vermont Law School offers an LL.M. in Environmental Law, with more than 50 courses in environmental law and policy. Students are able to further specialize in areas like climate change, land use, natural resources and water resources. Vermont Law topped the US News list of best law schools for Environmental Law in 2017 – over the past 24 years, the school has never been ranked lower than number 2. The Vermont Law School is also home to the Environmental Law Center, founded in the 1970s as a hub for students, faculty and advocates working together on environmental legal issues.

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Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne Law School

Melbourne Law School’s Master of Environmental Law at the University of Melbourne focuses on emerging legal issues like clean technology and climate change law, as well as the management of land, including the ancestral lands of Australia’s indigenous peoples. Melbourne University’s Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law supports research in climate change, sustainable development, urban planning and indigenous rights.

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Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht

An LL.M. at Utrecht University can make it easier to access international legal establishments like the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, which are also located in the Netherlands. Utrecht University’s LL.M. in Public Law offers a specialization track in Environment and Law of the Sea, where faculty have hands-on experience environmental and oceans governance, at international tribunals and negotiations. The Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law plays a leading role in water and oceans law globally, thanks to its collaboration with international actors.

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Ottawa, Canada

Another Canadian university placing importance on the pressing issue of sustainability is the University of Ottawa. Its Faculty of Law offers an LL.M. in Global Sustainability and Environmental Law. The university’s Centre for Environmental Law & Global Sustainability hosts regular events with experts in the field, and is a home for research on environmental policymaking.

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Portland, Oregon
Lewis & Clark

Lewis & Clark College Law School in Oregon is near downtown Portland – an environmentally progressive city – and borders a forested wilderness. The school was ranked 2nd in the US News list of top law schools for environmental law in 2017. The LL.M. covers US and international law, environmental justice, climate change and animal law. Lewis & Clark is home to the Earthrise Law Center, an environmental law clinic providing affordable legal services to nonprofit conservation organizations, offering hands-on opportunities for students.

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White Plains, New York

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University offers an LLM in Environmental Law that prepares students to work with the scientific, economic and political forces that shape environmental law. This program was ranked 3rd in the environmental law specialty ranking from US News. The school also offers a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. Pace Law is home to institutions like the Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies and the Environmental Litigation Clinic.

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Washington, District of Columbia

Georgetown University’s LL.M. in Environmental Law is taught in Washington D.C.,right at the heart of US government, offering students access to environmental policymakers. The program covers natural resources law, land use, international environmental law and historic preservation law, among other topics. The advanced environmental law course offers students the chance to gain practical experience working with real-world clients through the Georgetown Climate Center.

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