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Energy, Environment and Land Use Curriculum

The fields of energy law, environmental law and land use law, while distinct, have increasingly become interconnected as law and policy domains. The curriculum at Vanderbilt Law School allows students to focus on any these fields individually or gain a broader exposure to their intersections. This guidance is intended to help you identify the courses and externships hat best achieve your goals for learning about any or all of these dynamic practice and policy areas.

Core Program Courses

We highly recommend that students interested in any program field choose all of the following electives:

Energy Focus Courses

An energy law focus would include the following electives:

Environment Focus Courses

An environmental law focus would include the following electives:

Land Use Focus Courses

A land use focus would include the following electives:

Cross-Cutting Courses

The following electives expose students to all program topics in a cross-cutting context:


Numerous student externships are available :

  • Environmental Law Institute Externship in Washington, D.C.
  • Externships tailored to your interests. Recent student externships have included work at:
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Department of Justice
  • Land Trust for Tennessee
  • Hudson Riverkeeper

Foundational Courses

These courses provide essential footing in the practice and policy context relevant to any of program fields:

Outside Elective

Corporations spend over $100 billion per year on pollution control. An advanced environment law course available through Vanderbilt's Law and Business Program allows students to explore the effects of environmental law on corporate behavior. The course, co-taught by Michael Vandenbergh and Mark Cohen of the Owen Graduate School of Management, is open to law, business and graduate students in environmental management studies.