Required Courses:

Administrative Law

A study of the legislative, executive, and judicial control of administrative action. The course includes discussion of formal and informal administrative processes, the opportunity to be heard, adequacy of notice, restrictions on the deciding body, and appellate review.

Environmental Law

This course introduces students to the core federal statutes, regulations, and common law principles that control humans’ impacts on environmental resources, including air, water, and soil. The course explores different types of approaches to controlling these impacts, such as market mechanisms, liability regimes, or regulations requiring specific pollution control technologies.  The course addresses in depth several federal statutes that regulate many aspects of industrial and individual behavior, including requiring specific pollutant reductions and permits prior to engaging in a polluting activity. Further, Environmental Law includes discussion of mechanisms for implementing and enforcing these federal statutes.

Introduction to American Law: Comparative Perspective

(International LL.M. Students Only)

The course provides an introduction to American law in a comparative perspective which will be particularly valuable for students with experience in non-US legal systems. I will focus on the basics of the American legal system with an emphasis on understanding the vocabulary and mechanisms of the system, but will also provide concepts critical to learning to think as an American counselor and advocate.

Legal Writing

(International LL.M. Students Only) 

Introduction to legal skills used by American lawyers. Analysis, writing, and research in the context of writing primarily interoffice or predictive memoranda; introduction to the American legal research process and to selected primary and secondary sources of American law; writing clearly in American legal English. Focus on use of common law research and analysis. Students build from early exercises applying a rule to a short set of facts to synthesizing and applying complex rules to more extensive fact patterns. 

Highly Recommended Courses:

Environmental Policy & Natural Resources Law

This course provides an introduction to federal natural resources law, with an emphasis on living resources. In a mixed seminar format, we’ll survey the legal treatment of wildlife and biodiversity, fisheries and marine resources, water resources, forests and rangelands, protected public lands, multiple use public lands, and energy (as time allows). We’ll draw lessons from these fields to understand the themes and conflicts of environmental management generally, and the unique qualities of natural resources that render management efforts so difficult. Throughout the course, we will probe the interplay between environmental, economic, cultural, and political factors that complicate natural resource decision-making—especially in a resource rich state like Florida, where each of the surveyed resources plays a foundational role.

This course counts toward the Upper Level Writing Requirement and the Environmental Certificate, but non-certificate students and those new to environmental law are also very welcome in the class. 

Land Use Law

This course addresses legal and regulatory issues that arise during the process of developing land. It focuses on Florida but also addresses issues from other states. Students learn about the processes that landowners and developers follow to obtain local or state government approval for a project, such as applying for revisions to comprehensive plans, re-zonings, development orders, special use permits, variances, subdivision approvals, and development agreements. Students also learn how state and local governments—again, with a focus on Florida—regulate land use and review land use and development applications. The course also addresses resource-based issues associated with land development, including historic, cultural, and natural resources. Finally, students learn about private land use controls, such as covenants, conditions, and restrictions, used to further regulate projects and build and preserve property values.

Natural Resources Law

This is a survey course of federal and state laws pertaining to the use and governance of natural resources, such as water, wetlands, forests, rangeland, wildlife, and energy resources. As opposed to Environmental Law (which is a complement to this course), Natural Resources Law deals with the exploitation of resources, rather than the pollution of them, and as such, contemplates a vastly different system of laws and regulations. This course briefly explores some simple ecological and economic concepts, and how some federal and state laws reflect these concepts. Prominent in this course is the concept of natural resource planning, the primary means by which federal and state governments make decisions about the exploitation of resources.

Other Environmental Law Electives:

Admiralty Law

A study of the law of the sea, including admiralty jurisdiction, maritime liens, limitation of liability, collision, towage, charter parties, and the rights of injured maritime workers and passengers.

Advanced Legal Research in Administrative Law

This online, asynchronous course is designed to help students develop the sophisticated research skills necessary for the effective practice of administrative law. Students will be introduced to basic concepts, sources, and specialized tools used in federal, Florida, and other state administrative law research. Skills taught will include efficiently researching secondary sources, government entities, regulations, administrative and judicial decisions, agency documents, and problem analyses. Students will learn research strategies for specialized practice areas such as securities, environmental, tax and labor law. 

Animal Law

Throughout the semester, we will examine the historical and current status of animals in our legal system.  We will examine legal issues involving animals, including veterinary malpractice, recovery for injuries to animals, dog bites, animal cruelty, regulation of agricultural animals and animal legal standing. By necessity, these legal issues involve principles of tort law, criminal law, property law and even some constitutional law. This course is not an animal rights course, but rather a survey of a burgeoning and dynamic field of law, of which animal rights is but a part. Students will explore whether the law has a place for animals as something other than mere property, and if so, where lines ought to be drawn.  

This course will involve much class discussion. Accordingly, the course is graded on quality class participation, an in-class debate, and a final exam.

Animal Law Litigation, Legislation, & Policy

The animal law litigation, legislation, and policy course will illustrate how animal laws are drafted and become law, and ultimately litigated. The class will include a discussion of alternative dispute resolution, negotiated settlements, and oral and written advocacy, including appeals. “Real world” lawyering skills will be taught through writing assignments, advocacy role-playing, and mock oral arguments. Legal and political considerations will be included, as well as drafting of animal law legislation, ordinances, and legal documents. Also included will be mock trial practice, pre- and post-trial proceedings, and ethical considerations. Students will learn the policy and practical considerations associated with animal law advocacy.

Students will be evaluated based on class participation, writing assignments, and in-class role-playing. 

Climate Change Law Policy & Science

This class explores the interdisciplinary issues surrounding the problem of climate change, perhaps the most vexing and dangerous of environmental or social problems ever to confront humankind. The objective is to prepare students for areas of law – most of which are in early developmental stages – that affect climate change or adapt to climate change. In so doing, this seminar will require students to delve into not only the developing legal issues of climate change, but also the scientific, economic, technological, and psychological aspects of climate change.

Coastal and Ocean Law

This is a course that explores the state, federal and international laws governing the use and development of resources in coastal areas and the oceans. Such an exploration covers the federal and state common law, major federal statutes, international treaties, all from the perspective of the special needs of coastal areas and oceans. Prominent in this course are the ecological underpinnings of wildlife regulation, relationships between water, habitat, wildlife, and land use, and legal issues stemming from jurisdictional conflicts. For students planning to practice law in a coastal area, this course offers a useful survey of laws that may come up in a wide variety of practices, including but not limited to land use, development of energy resources, tourism and recreation, and commercial and recreational fishing.

Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Prerequisite: Property and Contracts

This commercial real estate course focuses on three key documents that are the mainstay of a transactional real estate lawyer's practice: the contract of sale, the loan, and the lease. Over the course of the semester, students will pair up to negotiate and draft each of these documents, and to role play as counsel to the purchaser or the seller for the contract of sale, the borrower or the lender for the loan, and the landlord or the tenant for the lease. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of a commercial real estate deal by conducting due diligence and analyzing key ancillary documents that are part and parcel of a commercial deal. Students interested in careers in transactional law, real estate law, corporate law, or finance will find the skills they gain in this course fungible.

Condominium and Community Housing Law

The course will examine the law of Florida condominiums with emphasis on those of residential character, as well as the law of mandatory homeowners' associations, and its differences from, and similarities to, the law governing condominiums. The course will cover statutory and case components of the law; document composition and drafting for the creation of condominiums; the statutory standards for operations and governance; and dispute resolution and covenant enforcement within the community.

Energy Law and Policy

This course introduces students to the statutes, regulations, and common law principles that apply to all aspects of the energy system, including extracting and transporting fuels by pipeline and rail and generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity. Specific topics that we will discuss in this course include the disputes and legal battles surrounding the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline; siting, preemption, and nuisance issues associated with renewable energy generation; legal disputes over the expansion of transmission lines to carry wind energy from remote areas in the Midwest to population centers; proceedings that establish rates for customers who purchase electricity and natural gas in their homes and apartments; the construction of liquefied natural gas export terminals (including one in Florida) and coal export terminals; the regulation of transporting crude oil by rail; and restructuring of the electricity industry in the United States and abroad, among other topics.

Environmental Justice

This course addresses environmental justice as a legal and social concern. Using case studies, academic literature, and other materials, we will engage with the history of environmental injustices inflicted upon traditionally disenfranchised communities and the rise of the environmental justice movement in response. In doing so, we examine the legal and social tools with which the environmental justice movement operates, and the barriers to achieving environmental justice. In looking to the future, the course will then focus on the unique environmental justice issues arising from anthropogenic climate change, also known as climate justice.

Environmental Legal Research

This course will help students develop the sophisticated research skills necessary for the effective practice of environmental law. Topics include: Statutes and legislative history documents, regulations, judicial opinions, agency documents, international environmental conventions and interpretations, and scientific and economic literature related to environmental law. Grading will be based upon short weekly assignments, class participation and the creation of a research guide in one specific area of environmental law.

Florida Administrative Practice

A study of the Florida Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and its interpretation by the courts. Major emphasis is placed on theories of delegation to administrative agencies, points of entry to obtain administrative review, and the relationship between the roles of administrative law judges, agency heads, and reviewing courts. Topics covered include the non-delegation doctrine, adjudication, non-rule policy, attorneys' fees, rule-making, rule challenges, bid protests, the statement of regulatory costs, judicial review, and formal legislative oversight.


This course introduces the theory and practice of negotiation in a workshop setting. We will examine the basic stages of a negotiation; the major tensions at play in negotiation; distributive bargaining, value-creating, and problem-solving techniques; the management of communication and emotional elements in negotiation; power dynamics and ethics; lawyer-client relationships, and other topics as time allows. The course is designed to help students develop negotiating skills and a framework for ongoing self-learning through role-playing simulations, discussion, reading assignments, and regular journal and writing exercises.

Attendance and First Day Policy: The course attendance policy is unusually strict, because much of our learning takes place during in-class simulated negotiation role-plays. Attendance for each class meeting is mandatory, as absences frustrate not only your own learning but the learning opportunities of the students you are partnered with in that day's simulation. For that reason, you should only enroll in the course if you can commit to attend every class session (on time), and all students must be present at the beginning of the first class to maintain their seats. Waitlisted students are invited to attend the first class in case a space opens up at that time.

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Oil and Gas Law

This course will explore the law that applies to extracting and transporting oil and gas resources in the United States. The first several days of the course will describe the process of locating minerals underground and drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil, as these processes and technical terms for these processes will arise in many of the cases that we will explore. After students have a basic understanding of the oil and gas development process, we will address the many types of law that apply to oil and gas extraction and transportation, including public law regulations and statutes as well as common law property, contract, and tort, among other laws. Using recent cases, we will explore who owns minerals and in what form; how mineral owners commonly “lease” minerals to energy companies and obtain bonuses, royalties and other payments in return; disputes that arise between mineral lessors and lessees over royalty payments and other lease issues; disputes between those who own minerals and those who own the surface; and environmental and social issues that arise during the drilling process and the lease terms and regulations that address these issues. We will also address recent court decisions that address state preemption of local oil and gas regulation. Finally, we will spend several days exploring the regulation of natural gas and oil pipelines, including the construction, siting, and operation of pipelines, and we will briefly touch upon export policies.

Practicing Environmental Law in Florida

Much federal environmental law depends critically on the implementation of compatible state law. This is a survey course in environmental, natural resource, energy, and land use law in the State of Florida emphasizing the importance of this cooperative federalism relationship in environmental protection. The course is intended to provide a combination of review of substantive state law and skills training especially for, but not limited to students expecting to practice in the State of Florida. The course has a strong component in skills training, and the interaction of state laws with federal ones.

State & Local Government

The powers, limitations, and special legal rules concerning state and local governments are studied.

Water Resources Law and Policy

This course provides an introduction to Water Law and Policy, a subject of great import to practitioners of environmental law, property law, international law, and other fields that contend with the allocation of scarce water resources among competing human, economic, and environmental needs.  Water management is especially important in Florida, which lies over the largest freshwater aquifer in the world, and Florida has become a leader in modern regulatory approaches.  The course explores the mechanics of water governance and how it has confronted the tensions between public and private rights in common pool resources and between the rule of law and legal instrumentalism.  Water Law continues to grapple with unforeseeable changes in technology, societal needs, and scientific understanding, each forcing questions about the degree to which law should, must, and/or can adapt to new circumstances.

The first half of the course will cover the major doctrines of private water allocation in the eastern and western United States—riparian rights, prior appropriations, and hybrid permit systems.  The second half of the course will explore special topics that intersect with Water Law, including groundwater, constitutional takings, the public trust doctrine, federal reserved rights, interstate and international disputes, water institutions, and Florida water governance.  To experience these issues in living color, the class will take a mid-semester field trip to a regional site of Water Law interest.  This course will be useful for students interested in careers in environmental law, land use law, urban planning, real estate development, agricultural and food law, and municipal and state government.  The course may be used to count toward the Upper-Level Writing Requirement and Environmental Certificate, but other students are also very welcome in the class.

Pre-approved Courses in Other Departments:

Current Issues in Environmental Science (OCE5018) (Oceanography)
Dispute Resolution (URP5122) (Urban and Regional Planning)
Introduction to Historic Preservation (HIS5083) (History)
Principles of Oceanography (OCE4008) (Oceanography)
River Basin Management Planning (URP5405) (Urban and Regional Planning)