PreLaw - Back to School 2010 - 12
trumped 67 other teams this year to once again win the national championship. “A big part of our mission is to remain relevant and also address the latest issues within such areas as climate change, sustainability and global environmental concerns. The curriculum naturally translates to our campus efforts,” Davis said.
University of Colorado
The law school was at the forefront of the environmental era, with teaching, the creation of its Natural Resources Law Center 28 years ago, a Natural Resources
Clinic more than 20 years ago and – more recently — the Center for Energy and Environmental Security. Students also can earn a variety of dual degrees and certificates. Some unique offerings include Juris Doctor/Master of Urban and Regional Planning, American Indian Law Certificate and Graduate Energy Certificate Program. The school’s deep commitment to teaching and research in these areas complements the school’s physical location in the Rocky Mountain West — a region defined by its vast natural resources, public lands and parks and many Indian reservations.
“The Law School and the University of Colorado campus ‘walk the talk’,” said David Getches, dean and Raphael J. Moses Professor of Natural Resources Law. To that end, the new Wolf Law Building is LEED Gold Certified. And last year, Sierra magazine ranked the Boulder campus as its top “green” university in the nation. It also was ranked one of the top campuses for sustainability by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. “The area is full of non-profit organizations, governmental agencies and private companies working to solve the nation’s and the world’s environmental and natural resources problems through innovation, education, advocacy, collaboration and better policies,” Getches said. “Law students can get a head start on meaningful careers.”
Vermont Law School
U.S. News ranks this law school No. 1 for good reason. Its environmental curriculum offers more than 50 courses in environmental law and policy, more than any other school. And nearly half of its first-year JD class is pursuing a Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree. The coursework, respected faculty and predominance of students who care about the environment separates Vermont from other law schools, said Marc Mihaly, head of the Environmental Law Center. “You’ve got a critical mass of people talking, thinking and writing about the environment,” Mihaly said. “Some 60 percent of the students who come to Vermont Law School do so because they’re interested in the environment.” This commitment also translates into a huge summer school. Every summer, Mihaly helps organize a program that provides up to 40 courses taught by experts, government officials and legal practioners. “We’ve got 250 to 300 people every summer,” he said. “It’s like [renowned music festival] Tanglewood – there is so much going on here. We’ll bring people in just to be here and hang out.” The rest of campus is just as active. The law school serves local and sustainably grown food whenever possible in its café and at catered events. Vermont also has Composting toilets, motion-sensor lighting and fuel-efficient Zipcars zipping around. “This is a different kind of atmosphere,” Mihaly said. “We’re pretty determined that we want to change things. … I would never think of teaching anywhere else.”
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