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Publication Date


Publication Title

Columbia Journal of Environmental Law


Environmental Law, Legal Education, Practice, Practical Skills, Teaching Methods


This article surveys methods that could improve the effectiveness of environmental legal education. I propose that approaches to teaching environmental law be viewed in two ways; first, as a substantive course in which students gain access to a complex system of law, and second, as a substantive base for teaching students skills of legal process. Within both possibilities, I focus on the value of teaching students to understand the environmental law system. Instructors can introduce students to the environmental law system by looking at a few of the major environmental statutes in relative depth, or as they apply to specific factual environmental problems. This environmental law system is preferential to focusing, as many environmental courses do, on many of the major federal environmental statutes at a superficial level. By studying the environmental law system vertically, students will acquire skills that are transferable within environmental law to any environmental law statute, or to any other area of law.