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Environmental Law Program

Studying Environmental Law
at the University of South Carolina School of Law

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The deadline for Applications to the Juris Doctorate/Masters of Studies in Environmental Law Dual Degree Program is January 21, 2011.

US Supreme Court Rapanos & Carabell Wetlands Cases Documents

The University of South Carolina School of Law offers a variety of courses in environmental law and related areas. These courses provide a broad-based education for those hoping to practice environmental law following graduation, as well as students who want to take one or two courses to explore the area or include environmental law coursework to add to their practice expertise.

Environmental law is an important field in this state, the region, and the nation. Many USC Law School graduates are working directly in environmental law, some in South Carolina, and others elsewhere in the country, including Washington D.C. These jobs span the spectrum of environmental law, and include work with law firms, corporations, federal/state/local agencies, environmental groups, trade organizations, etc. Many more USC graduates have jobs that require familiarity with environmental law, in areas such as real estate, land use, corporate general counsel, municipal government, etc.

Environmental law courses (and their course numbers) offered by the law school are:

Climate Change Law Seminar (LAWS 734)

Coastal Conservation Seminar (LAWS 565)
Professor Eagle

Energy and the Environment (LAWS 826)

Environmental Advocacy Seminar (LAWS 804)

Environmental Law Clinic (LAWS 805)

Environmental Law: Natural Resources (LAWS 684)
Professor Eagle

Environmental Law of South Carolina (LAWS 738)

Federal Environmental Law (LAWS 731)

International Environmental Law and Development (LAWS 666)
Professor Linnan

Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy (LAWS 816)

Land Use Planning (LAWS 651)
Professor Hubbard

Public Interest Environmental Law (LAWS 826)

The following related courses may also be of interest to some students:

  • Administrative Law (LAWS 709)
  • International Law (LAWS 784)
  • Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating (LAWS 771)
  • Real Estate Transactions I (LAWS 652)
  • Real Estate Transactions II (LAWS 653)

Other Opportunities for Students

Student Scholarship

Student Environmental Law Scholarship often is published to the School of Law website.

Courses Outside the School of Law

In addition, students with interests in particular aspects of the environment may earn up to six hours of degree credit from USC courses outside the law school curriculum. Courses relevant to an interest in environmental law are offered through The School of the Environment, The College of Engineering and Information Technology, The School of Public Health, The College of Science and Math, or The College of Liberal Arts. Information about such courses can be found through the Graduate Bulletin at sc.edu/bulletin/grad/.

USC offers students who wish to study the legal, policy, management, and scientific aspects of environmental and natural resource protection the opportunity to enroll in a unique Dual Degree Program involving the USC School of the Environment and earn a J.D. and Masters of Earth and Environmental Resources Management (MEERM). The MEERM degree is designed to provide individually tailored curricula for students interested in management positions in earth resources (minerals, water, sustainable development within ecosystems) or environmental resources (safe and effective use or remediation of human-made materials into different ecosystems). Dual degree candidates must be admitted to both schools, whereupon some courses count toward credits in both programs, and the two degrees can be earned in a total of four years (without summers). More information about the J.D./MEERM dual degree program is available at environ.sc.edu/enviro_gradprog.html.

Dual Degree Opportunities

USC also has a dual degree program with Vermont Law School (VLS), the top-ranked law school environmental program according to US News and World Report. Students who want to focus primarily on the legal aspects of environmental law (as opposed to science, management or policy) will be most interested in this program. Under this program, students can earn a J.D. from USC and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy (M.E.L.P.) from Vermont Law School in three years (including summers) through a combination of Summer Sessions in Vermont, distance learning courses and approved supervised externships. The regulations for this dual degree program can be found at law.sc.edu/environmental/vls-usc/. Applications for the dual degree program are normally due in January of a student's second semester of law study.


Questions? Want more information on the environmental law opportunities through USC School of Law? Contact:

Environmental Law Program
USC School of Law
Office 306
701 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29208
803-777-6880