Advanced Certificate in Environmental Law

Professor Nolon lectures his class on Land Use Law

JD candidates at Pace Law may structure their courses of study to attain Advanced Certificates in Environmental Law as part of their law degrees. Authorized by the New York State Department of Education and offered to both practicing attorneys and current students, this certificate signifies proficiency in the fundamentals of environmental law and provides a basic grounding for practice in the field.

With more than 40 elective courses, our Environmental Law Program offers students one of the widest selections of environmental courses of any law school. Our program has repeatedly achieved national acclaim for its environmental clinic, externships, and centers, in which our students may participate for credit towards the Advanced Certificate in Environmental Law. Students pursuing the Certificate may engage in these environmental law clinical and externship programs. They also benefit from the campus presence of candidates – many from other countries – for the Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Environmental Law and the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree in Environmental Law, who enrich the classroom with their experience and diverse perspectives. (JD students are graded separately from LLM and SJD students, so there is no competition between degree seekers.)

Enrollment in the Advanced Certificate in Environmental Law is available for non-matriculated students who already have a JD. Please contact Jill I. Gross, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, for additional information.

Requirements of the Advanced Certificate 

All candidates must complete at least 16 environmental course credits with an average GPA of 3.00 (B) or better and no grade below a C in those courses. These credits must include Advanced Research Skills for Environmental Law, Environmental Law Survey, and Administrative Law. In addition to these required courses, candidates must take one of the following: Energy Law and Regulation, Land Use LawNatural Resources Law, or Water Rights Law. Candidate must also complete at least one experiential learning opportunity and one significant research paper on an environmental topic, broadly defined (e.g., environmental law, natural resources law, food and agricultural law, animal law, energy law, land use planning, or ocean and coastal resources law). The written product must be in the form of a research paper, scholarly article, legal memorandum, or law review note. The written product must be at least 15 double-spaced pages, demonstrate an appropriate level of legal research and analysis, be well-organized and well-written, and contain ample citation to legal authority. Other products may be accepted with prior approval by the Administration of the Environmental Law Program. A student may use their ULWR to satisfy this requirement if it is written on an environmental topic. Certificate candidates must also maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 or better. The remaining required course credits may be selected from the numerous environmental law electives and for-credit practical learning opportunities.