To receive the Certificate in Environmental and Oceans Law, a candidate must complete the following:
Required Courses (two of the following):
One of the fastest job growth areas for new lawyers is the focus of this course. Throughout law school and your legal career, you frequently will be required to interpret statutes and regulations when advising clients and crafting strategy. Moreover, the vast majority of attorneys who litigate are doing so not before judges or juries, but before regulatory bodies or non-judicial officers without the Rules of Evidence or Civil Procedure, and that have special standards for issues like standing and finality. The American Bar Association estimates that 65 to 70 percent of the practice of adjudication actually occurs in an administrative setting, rather than a courtroom. Moreover, “Virtually every aspect of public policy is addressed by one administrative agency or another. Topics include immigration, telecommunications, energy projects, environmental protection, food safety, securities and commodity trading, banking regulation, building codes, zoning, social security, utility rates, customs, and so on.”
This course will first introduce you to the principles of legislative interpretation, including exercises in drafting and interpreting. We then examine work that federal and state agencies do, the procedures they utilize, and the ways in which the political judicial branches seek to control administrative actions. Students will undertake practical exercises on relevant issues throughout the semester to best develop your oral and written advocacy skills, and to better learn and remember the legislative and regulatory doctrines. The goal is to better enable students to address issues in their other courses, and in their legal jobs during and after law school.
Nine credits from these courses:
Environmental and Land-Related Courses
Ocean and Maritime Related Courses
Externships offer second-year and third-year students the opportunity to gain legal experience and receive feedback on their work from seasoned professionals with guidance and support from a faculty member. Externship students earn 6 academic credits, spend approximately 18 hours per week over the course of the semester at their placements, and also participate in a mandatory course, which runs contemporaneously.
Prerequisites: All placements require the successful completion of all first-year courses as well as good academic standing. Some placements also require eligibility for certification as a student attorney or specific coursework.
*The Certificate Supervisor may approve additional courses with a substantial focus on environmental or oceans law. Note that not all courses are offered every year.
Candidates must satisfy the upper level writing requirement by writing a paper (or journal contribution(s)) on a topic related to environmental or oceans law. The paper topic must be pre-approved by the environmental and oceans law program coordinator.
Prior to graduation, candidates must participate in or attend at least one professional or academic conference on a topic related to environmental or oceans law, such as events hosted by ABA-accredited law schools, E2Tech or another Maine environmental organization, or a conference hosted by Maine Law. Participation may be in-person or virtual and must be pre-approved by the environmental and oceans law program coordinator.
The certificate includes an experiential learning component that can be satisfied in one of three ways: (a) The candidate may apply for and complete an externship that relates substantially to environmental or oceans law issues; the externship must be pre-approved by the environmental and oceans law program coordinator and the Maine Law externship program director, (b) the candidate may complete this requirement by working at a pre-approved job during law school (at least 150 working hours) focused on environmental or oceans law issues (Academic credit is not given for work at a job under this option); or (c) the candidate may complete this requirement by enrolling in a pre-approved “practicum” course related to environmental or oceans law issues.
Candidates must declare their intent to obtain the certificate by the end of their third semester. Students cannot earn both the Certificate in Environmental and Oceans Law and another certificate.