All VLS Courses
Food Regulation and Policy
Presently, the United States is experiencing a resurgence in public concern over the safety of our food supply due to biotechnology, pesticide use, and unsafe food packaging, etc. This course will introduce students to the laws and policies that govern food regulation and policy in the United States.
Global Energy and Climate Policy
Offers a detailed assessment of the most advanced commercially available technologies for strengthening global energy security, mitigating the effects of climate change, and enhancing resilience through adaptation and geo-engineering. The course also evaluates the barriers to the deployment of these technologies and critically reviews public policy options and behavior changes crucial to their adoption.
GPP II - Environmental Issues In Business Transactions
Designed to explore the types of environmental risks that are commonly confronted in a variety of business transactions. Special focus is devoted to how the environmental issues in transactions are identified, managed, and addressed n 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.
Green Marketing Law
Consumer demand for environmental-preferential products is increasing. Whether intentional or not, the potential to greenwash consumers has also grown. In this course students will consider legal decisions and public policy questions raised by environmental claims and rapidly evolving methods of marketing—print and television to social media and mobile devices.
Download the 2013 Summer Course Syllabus
Indian Tribes as Governmental Stewards of the Environment
Examines the unique body of law governing "Indian country," the geographic areas recognized by the federal government as the homelands of sovereign American Indian tribes. Major topics include the history of federal-tribal relations, tribal property rights, tribal court systems, and the balance of governmental power between tribes, states, and the federal government.
Download the 2013 Course Syllabus
International Environmental Law and Policy
Provides an overview of the structure and basic principles of international environmental law and policy. The course considers the challenge of addressing global environmental problems; the regulatory limitations of U.S. law; and the basic structure and principles of international environmental law. The course examines in detail the structure of the Montreal Protocol regime and covers other areas, including treaties related to climate change, biodiversity and wildlife protection, and the intersection of international trade and the environment.
International Investment Arbitration and the Environment
This course will examine a cutting-edge area of environmental advocacy. Under the umbrella of sustainable development, the course brings together the points of contact between three areas of international law, namely investment, human rights, and the environment, which together form one of the most dynamic areas of international environmental advocacy today. The course will explore how the various treaties underlying these three regimes relate to one another, with a particular emphasis on dispute settlement. In this context, the seminar will examine conflict of norms and hierarchy issues, as well as interpretative tools to prevent or minimize conflict. Besides these theoretical inquiries, the course will cover particular themes where human rights, environmental, and investment law interact, such as: the right to health, the right to water and sanitation, due process and denial of justice, property rights and expropriation, and stabilization clauses and positive human rights obligations. The course will place special emphasis on bilateral investment treaty negotiations, as well as on international investment arbitrations involving health, safety and environmental measures.
Download 2013 Course Syllabus
International Trade and the Environment
Examines the intersection between trade liberalization and environmental protection. The course addresses protection of natural resources through unilateral trade-based measures, the legality of multilateral environmental agreements employing trade measures, utilization of science-based trade tests, and environmental impacts of foreign investment liberalization.
Download 2013 Course Syllabus
Introduction to American Legal System: Constitutional Law, Legislation, Regulation
Provides foreign-trained lawyers with a thorough introductory grounding in the U.S. legal system, environmentally-relevant common law, constitutional law, legislative and regulatory regimes, and the skills needed to access and utilize appropriate materials.
Introduction to Legal Studies
An introduction to the fields of legal analysis, research, and writing through the study of environmental statutes and case law. The course explores research and investigatory techniques, citation form, legal reasoning, writing skills, and professionalism.