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All VLS Courses

Course Name

Environmental Issues in Business Transactions


An exploration of the types of environmental risks and issues that are commonly confronted in a variety of business-related transactions such as the acquisition of all a company's stock, asset purchases, real estate deals, leases and financings. Special focus on how the environmental issues in transactions are identified and managed in the course of a deal. The unique environmental issues associated with the purchase and redevelopment of contaminated properties or so-called "Brownfield sites" are also covered.

Environmental Justice


This course examines the issue of environmental justice from an environmental law perspective and from a civil rights law perspective. It explores how environmental justice issues are framed, addressed, and resolved through litigation and mediation in the U.S. and internationally.

PDF LogoDownload the 2014 Course Syllabus - updated 6/10/14

Environmental Law


An introduction to the broader categories of protecting human health and the environment  to both assess the successes and failures of environmental protection in the U.S. and gain more detailed substantive knowledge of several key statutes.

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Environmental Law and Finance


A discussion of the four forms of financing (grants, concessionary loans, market loans, and loan guaranties) and their relative desirability and efficiency. Strategies for maximizing a utility's income, traditional cash flow analyses, and project cost reduction strategies.

Environmental Litigation


How to sue the government, win, and get paid, with a focus on the Administrative Procedure Act and the citizen suit provision of the Endangered Species Act. The course also covers jurisdictional issues such as standing, ripeness, mootness, exhaustion, primary jurisdiction, and statute of limitations.

Environmental Litigation Workshop


This course provides students with intensive, practical experience with application of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the context of civil environmental litigation. Participating in either a plaintiff’s or defendant’s litigation team, students will follow each step in pretrial civil litigation under the FRCP, from complaint filing through discovery.

PDF LogoDownload the 2014 Summer Syllabus - updated 7/11/14

Environmentalism in America


Explores what has happened to the environment and environmentalism in America since the first Earth Day in 1970. Considerable time is spent on proposals for a revamped or even new American environmentalism. Using scenario analysis, the course looks ahead at what the future might hold and what accounts for different possible outcomes.

Essentials of Electric Grid: Business


Introduces the major financial and economic factors that energy companies use in making production and investment decisions, and how emerging environmental regulations might affect these decisions. The module will also cover deregulated market structures in the petroleum, natural gas, and electric power industries. 

Essentials of Electric Grid: Engineering


The engineering realities of electric power grids and natural gas pipelines greatly constrain the choices that lawyers and policy analysts might otherwise make. This module covers the engineering fundamentals inherent in the current and expected energy infrastructure.

Essentials of Electric Grid: Legal


Provides an overview of the fundamentals of energy law in both the U.S. and the European Union and addresses some of the most important problems faced by energy project development, including facility siting, environmental issues, and authority fragmentation.