Environmental Law

The Big Picture

Long the leading institution in environmental and land use law among top American law schools, NYU has established its reputation in the field for cutting-edge research and scholarship that has driven policy formation on issues such as climate change, housing and urban development, natural resources law, and environmental regulation, among others. Further strengthening the Law School as a leader in the field, NYU created a master’s program for students with a strong future professional or academic interest in environmental and land use law. 

Learning from faculty who are among the most distinguished in the field, including lawyers with extensive governmental and NGO experience, students take classes emphasizing the local, national and international dimensions of environmental issues. As a requirement for the master’s degree, students will enroll in the Advanced Environmental Law Seminar with the requirement to write an extended research paper. The seminar and written work enable students to synthesize their studies, benefitting from close interaction with faculty and other students, with the aim of developing the piece into a work of publishable quality.

Students will have opportunities to work closely with faculty on research projects under the aegis of the Law School’s Frank J. Guarini Center on Environmental and Land Use Law and the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, and to participate in the Environmental Law Journal and Environmental Law Society. NYU also offers post-graduate research fellowships for gifted students interested in academic careers.

Focus on Clinics 

Clinics occupy a special place in the Law School’s curriculum, offering students a chance to experience first-hand real problems with real clients, pursuing current cases, policy reform, and more. LLM in Environmental Law students may apply through a competitive process for the Environmental Law Clinic or the International Environmental Law Clinic as part of their degree program, gaining access to a range of opportunities, from assisting attorneys from the National Resources Defense Council to bring forth public interest environmental litigation, to drafting laws and regulations and legal and policy positions for clients such as the UN, international organizations, international environmental NGOs, and governments of developing countries. Also, the Law School's simulation courses, such as Civil Litigation, provide opportunities to hone practical legal skills alongside substantive courses in environmental and land use law.

Classes Outside the Law School 

With permission from the program director and Vice Dean, master’s students may take up to 6 credits at one of NYU’s other schools in completion of LLM requirements. Courses at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service in urban, transportation, and other infrastructure issues are likely to be of particular interest.