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Spring 2021

5354 Environmental Law Practicum - HESTER- 21300

Professor(s): Tracy Hester (DIRECTOR/SUPERVISOR )

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law 

Time: 10:30a-12:00p  MW  Location:  

Course Outline: This course will overview key areas of practice within environmental law such as regulatory counseling and permitting, contested administrative hearings, civil enforcement, criminal liability, private litigation over environmental contamination, policy advocacy, auditing and privileged investigations, and environmental aspects of corporate transactions. Each lecture topic will be paired with a separate presentation by a guest speaker who practices in that area, and who will participate in a simulation of a live project or case that a team of students will work on. These speakers have included in prior years the Harris County Attorney (civil enforcement), the Galveston Bay Foundation (permitting), the Harris County District Attorney (criminal), the Audubon Society (policy advocacy), in-house counsel for several energy corporations (transactions, counseling), plaintiff’s environmental attorneys (contested case hearings), NGOs (regulatory commenting), and others.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes: DistanceEd  The instructor for this course has expressed a preference to operate the course as distance education. This means no physical classroom is assigned for this course. This also most likely means synchronous internet videoconferencing class sessions during the day(s) and time(s) when the course is scheduled to meet. However, other, more flexible modalities are possible, such as not using some of the scheduled class sessions to meet but instead supplementing with asynchronous distance education techniques. More details should be made available from the instructor via their syllabus or via other means as the start of the semester nears.

Quota= 12
NO final exam or paper requirement, but grades will include student participation and each student’s completion of a portfolio of projects that they undertake for their chosen guest speakers.

Regarding Prerequisites: No prerequisite, but students are encouraged to have already taken Environmental Law, a similar class (such as Environmental Law in the Oil & Gas Industry), or have backgrounds that provide equivalent experience. Students who have not taken Environmental Law are welcome to the class and encouraged to enroll, but I recommend that you talk with me about the Practicum and ways that we can assist your participation in class projects.


First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule: 05/12 9am-12pm      

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: simulation

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA:

Pass-Fail Student Election: Conditional Availability (not for required credits)

Course Materials

No book required for this course

Course Materials: Course materials will be provided to students by the Professor in spring 2021.