Coursework and Environmental Law Certificate of Concentration

Stetson College of Law's Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy offers a wide range of environmental and biodiversity-related courses.

The institute also offers a Certificate of Concentration in Environmental Law for select J.D. students who wish to focus their studies on environmental law. This concentration will help prepare those students planning for a career in environmental law by ensuring that they take courses particularly applicable to environmental law and receive mentoring from members of the faculty with experience and interest in environmental law. The certificate of concentration recognizes students who have demonstrated a high degree of ethics and competence in the study of environmental law.

Will Davis, JD - Class of 2022
Will Davis, class of 2022

I have known that I wanted to practice environmental law since I entered law school. I grew up in Panama City, Florida and I have seen firsthand the devastating impacts that not taking care of the land and ignoring warnings can do. When I first came to Stetson, I planned on practicing in Hawaiʻi. Through the connections established by Professor Gardner, I was able to get in touch with a professor at the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law. From there I was able to gain connections which culminated in volunteering with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. In this role, I was able to work on behalf of the Hawaiian people to protect Native Hawaiian interests during the legislative session. It is from this work that I was inspired to write by law article Perpetuated in Righteousness: Proposals for Strengthening Hawaiʻi’s “Ceded Land” Protections which is published in the Environs: Environmental Law and Policy Journal.

In the two years, I was in the concentration, I took a majority of the environmental classes offered, from Land Use Law to Public Maritime Law to Federal Indian Law. Each of these classes helped refine and reinforce what I wanted to do in the legal field once I graduated. All of my interests came together when I submitted a portion of my seminar paper that I wrote in the Wetlands Seminar class with Professor Gardner in a job application to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau.

All of this is a testament that at Stetson, you have the tools and knowledge around you in the form of the professors, their peers, and your peers to make whatever outcome you wish. Three years ago, it was my ambition to practice law on an island in the Pacific, and that’s just what I’ll do.

Lauren Beams
Lauren Beams

The Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy created many opportunities for me to get involved with Environmental Law in more ways than I knew existed when first starting law school at Stetson Law. From conducting research on wetland mitigation banks, going out into the field and observing wildlife in the swamp of Big Cypress Preserve, helping research and draft various amicus briefs for environmental cases (one of which even went before the United States Supreme Court), and teaching a class at the University of South Florida on Environmental Regulation, the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy allowed me to grow in my legal education with experiences that taught me skills I’ll carry on throughout my legal career. I know that I’ll continue my relationship with the Institute and am excited to see all the important steps Professor Gardner, Katherine Pratt, and the rest of the Institute will take in the years to come.


Course Catalog Preview

Ecosystem Banking Workshop

In this voluntary enrichment program, students learn about market-based approaches to restoring wetlands, conserving endangered species habitat, improving water quality, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Students prepare case studies on a specific bank and interview representatives from the regulatory agencies, the bank sponsor, environmental groups, and other stakeholders. The workshop is designed to serve as a feeder program for internships with regulatory agencies, mitigation companies, and environmental groups.

Environmental Law Internship

Students work on environmental and land use issues under the direct supervision of government and NGO attorneys. Placements include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

Environmental Law Seminar -- Natural Resources

This seminar addresses the law of natural resources -- wildlife, animals, parks, wilderness, water rights, oceans, timber, and minerals. Because these resources cannot, for the most part, be created by human effort, they pose special challenges for law. As students research and write a paper on a topic of their choosing, they read and discuss in the seminar some thought-provoking articles and essays on natural resource management and regulation.

International Environmental Law

This course is an introduction to international legal principles and the application of those principles to specific global environmental problems. The course focuses on current issues in international environmental law, such as ocean resources, stratospheric ozone depletion, global climate change, nuclear energy and weapons, biodiversity protection, and the environmental effects of trade agreements.

Wetland Law and Policy Seminar

This interdisciplinary seminar examines wetland issues from both the scientific and legal perspective. The legal and policy portion of the seminar will focus on the history of wetland regulation, the permit process, mitigation banking, enforcement, and regulatory takings.

Other Courses

  • Administrative Law
  • Admiralty
  • Animal Law Seminar
  • Climate Change and Energy Policy
  • Environmental Advocacy
  • Environmental Hazards Associated with Real Property
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Practice
  • Florida Administrative Law
  • International Animal Law Seminar
  • International Trade and the Environment
  • Land Use Planning
  • Legislation
  • Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy
  • Topics in Biodiversity Law

For more information, visit the Course Catalog.