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Chicago-Kent College of Law

Law 232 Energy Law - R

This course offers a basic overview of the legal framework within which the production, distribution and sale of energy takes place. It is offered as part of the Program in Environmental and Energy Law but is open to all students. After a brief introduction to scientific concepts of energy and the history of energy technology, the course will survey the major sources of energy. The traditional sources have been oil, natural gas and coal converted to consumer products such as electricity and gasoline. Newer sources include nuclear and solar energy. Each source and delivery system has its own network of property rules and contract relationships. National energy policy will be reviewed and the impact of interregional competition on the regulation of energy will be studied, as will constitutional and economic concepts affecting the pricing of energy. Particular emphasis will be placed on energy issues in environmental law. Three credit hours.

Law  401 Land Use -R

A course exploring land use controls such as zoning and subdivision regulations as exercised by local and state governmental units. The course analyzes the history of land use controls and explores topics such as flexibility and discretion, improper influence and corruption, alternative land use control schemes, suburban zoning and racial/economic exclusion, environmental protection by land use schemes, and growth control. In the process of exploring land use controls, the course analyzes the local institutions and procedures, constitutional issues, and the question of when an improper taking of property occurs in our legal system. Three credit hours.

Law 426 Environmental Law and Policy 1 - R

This course examines the scientific, economic, and ethical foundations of environmental law and policy and introduces the student to many of the major biodiversity conservation and pollution control regulatory programs. The role of courts in policing environmental regulation and decision-making is also covered. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach, looking at history, economic theory and analysis, and other disciplines. The course covers the common law origins of environmental protection, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Superfund. The course examines the substance of the Acts and uses them as vehicles for exploring complex statutory schemes, administrative policy-making, market environmental controls, the interplay of federal and state environmental programs, benefit-cost analysis, risk analysis, and environmental litigation. This is the first semester of a two-semester course sequence. While it is required for students concentrating in Environmental and Energy Law, it is open to all students. The course can be taken without the second semester course. Three credit hours.

Law 441 Environmental Law and Policy 2 -R

This is the second semester of a two-semester course sequence. While it is required for students in the Program in Environmental and Energy Law, it is open to all students. Environmental Law and Policy 1 is not a prerequisite. The course emphasizes the Clean Air Act as a vehicle for exploring complex statutory schemes, administrative policy-making, market environmental controls, the interplay of federal and state environmental programs, benefit-cost analysis, risk analysis, and environmental litigation. The course will also examine global warming and the broader concept of climate change. Two credit hours.

Law 472 Natural Resources Law - R

This course covers the legal regimes that control the choices that individuals and society make about the use of natural resources. These resources include water, public lands dedicated to mining, timber production, recreation and preservation, and renewable living resources such fish stocks. The course will emphasize the tension between regimes put in place in the 19th century to encourage the exploitation of natural resources for human benefit and legacy of the environmental movement with emphasis on conservation, mitigation, and preservation. Three credit hours.

Law 521 Environmental Law Clinic - R

The Environmental Law Clinic will help students develop their lawyering skills by giving them the opportunity to represent individuals and community organizations with environmental concerns. Students will interview clients, represent clients in meetings with corporations and government officials, and represent clients in court. Cases range from assisting an individual who discovers she has lead paint in her home to helping communities with problems arising from active facilities, abandoned sites, and proposed facilities. The class sessions will provide an opportunity to observe and practice lawyering skills, develop an understanding of the key substantive environmental law areas involved in the clinic's work, and discuss ongoing cases. Students are required to perform 10 hours a week of fieldwork for the 3-credit version of the clinic, and 12 hours a week of fieldwork for the 4-credit version, in addition to the classroom component. Students are required to perform 5 hours a week of fieldwork for the 1-credit version. The clinic is open to 8 students each semester. If a selection process is necessary, you will be notified regarding the interview process after you register for the class. There are no course prerequisites for this clinic. Students must have completed 30 credit hours to take the Clinic. One, three, or four credit hours.

Law 588 Environmental Law Externship - R

Students in the Program in Environmental and Energy Law have the opportunity to explore environmental opportunities in the public and public interest sectors. These externships help students develop their legal research and writing skills and substantive knowledge of environmental law. Externships are currently available at several government agencies and public interest groups: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Office, the Illinois Attorney General's Office (Environmental Division), the City of Chicago Law Department (Environmental Unit), the State's Attorney's office (Environmental Division), the Illinois Pollution Control Board, the Chicago Legal Clinic, the Lake Michigan Federation, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center for the Midwest. Students should contact Professor Gross for more information about enrolling in this externship. Four credit hours.

Law 606 Water Resources Law - R

This seminar examines the legal regime that governs the allocation and management of surface and ground water in the United States and on international rivers and aquifers. The class will cover the two basic allocation regimes in the United States -- riparian rights and prior appropriation -- and a variety of current topics. These include the capacity of the legal system to adapt to global climate change, the emergence of a human right to water, the impact of environmental laws on the right to divert water, the management of the Great Lakes, and the special rights of Indian Tribes.

Law 624 Current Issues in Environmental Law - R

This seminar will address cutting-edge issues in a variety of environmental law areas. Among the topics that may be addressed are land use and land transfers, environmental implications of corporate transactions, facility citing, public participation, environmental justice, environmental enforcement matters, and Brownfields.

Law 627 Climate Change (formerly Energy and Climate) - R

Our many and varied ways of using energy are the principal sources of the greenhouse gases that are affecting the world's climate. The seminar will examine the impact of energy on climate, and the impact of climate on energy; particularly the growing number of state laws and congressional proposals to mitigate climate change by changing the legal rules regarding the use of energy.

Law 657 International Environmental Law R

This seminar examines the emerging legal regime that governs transboundary and global environmental degradation. Issues include customary restraints on state actions which injure another state or the global commons, international treaty regimes for ocean pollution, biodiversity conservation and global climate change mitigation, and the link between trade and environmental protection. The seminar also examines the ethical, economic and governance issues raised by international environmental protection.

Law 688 Making Chicago: Law, Politics, and Urban Planning in the Second City - R

This seminar explores the ways in which law and public policy - local, state, and federal - have shaped Chicago from the city's nineteenth century beginnings through today. Drawing on the analytical tools of local government law and urban history, we will examine the social, economic, demographic, and political development of the Chicago metropolitan area. Topics include: urban economic development; crime, policing, and the justice system; community organization and activism; the regulation of land use; urban renewal policy; the rise and fall of public housing; the persistence of racial and ethnic divisions; the civil rights movement in Chicago; city-suburb relations and regional planning efforts; transportation; city schooling; gentrification and urban redevelopment; the historic preservation movement; and local environmental policy. Throughout the seminar, we will consider, in both historical and contemporary perspective, the role of the city in the American legal system and the costs and benefits of localized governmental power.