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Spring 2023

5354 Environmental Law Practicum - HESTER- 14000

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

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law 

Time: 4:00p-5:30p  MW  Location: 220 

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: (Face-to-Face)   The UH registration system instruction mode for this course is listed in parenthesis. After student registration opens, there may be instruction mode changes to this course up through two weeks before the first day of classes for the term, but notice of such changes will be sent to then-registered students. For this instruction mode, instructors and students are expected to normally be physically present in the classroom. If the course has a final examination, it will be in a classroom requiring your physical presence. Other assessment, such as a mid-term exam, may also be in a classroom. Whether this instructor will offer “remote presence” (starting a zoom meeting from the podium computer to enable student remote access on an occasional basis) for part or all of the semester is not known, but students should not rely on an expectation that remote presence will be available.

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: Projects      

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: simulation

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA: No

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

Course Materials

No book required for this course

Course Materials: Any materials for students will be distributed in the class.