Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law

CU-Boulder leads the nation in research and programs  addressing environmental, energy, and natural resources issues—with a  longstanding reputation for innovative work on water resources, climate change, and energy. For more than half a century, environmental and natural resources law has been a key part of the Colorado Law curriculum. The school’s 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 American Indian reservations. Ranked consistently among the very best in the nation, Colorado Law’s Environmental,  Energy, and Natural Resources Program is one of the strongest and deepest  programs of its kind.

Curriculum

Colorado Law’s environmental and natural resources curriculum prepares graduates for careers at law firms, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and governmental  agencies. Students receive a broad-based legal education in addition to specialized environmental and natural resources courses and practicum opportunities.

Faculty

Colorado Law’s environmental and natural resources law faculty are passionate about teaching and are known for their extensive interaction with students both in and out of the classroom. The program’s full-time faculty members are experts and advocates in their field, influencing legal and public policy debates at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Professors also include adjuncts and visiting national and international teachers and scholars from the legal academia, legal practice, government, the  judiciary, and business.

  • Professor Charles Wilkinson is a nationally known author and expert on federal public land and Western water law. He has received top awards from the CU and Oregon and the National Wildlife Federation. In addition to teaching since 1975, he has served as a special counsel to the Department of the Interior, a Committee of Scientists member for  the U.S. Forest Service, and a mediator in several successful water  negotiations. He has written 15 books.
  • Professor Lakshman Guruswamy is a recognized expert in international environmental and energy law and policy and speaks and participates at conferences and symposiums around the globe. Prior to joining Colorado Law, he taught in Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and at the Universities of Iowa and Arizona.
  • Professor Mark Squillace is an expert and  frequent speaker on natural resources law issues. In 2000, he served as Special Assistant to the Solicitor at the U.S. Department of the Interior, working directly with Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.
  • Professor William Boyd was an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, where he provided energy and  environmental regulatory and policy advice. He also served as minority counsel  and American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and  Public Works.
  • Professor Sarah Krakoff has served as director of Colorado Law’s American Indian Law Clinic and acting director of  the Natural Resources Law Center. Prior to joining Colorado Law, she was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work on the Navajo Nation as director of the Youth Law Project for DNA-People’s Legal Services.

Career Opportunities

Colorado Law students and graduates have receive externships and employment in the fields of environmental and natural resources law in numerous firms and organizations including: Arnold & Porter; Colorado Office of Attorney General, Natural Resources and Environment Section; Earthjustice;  Environment Colorado; Environmental Defense Fund; Johnson & Repucci; Lathrop & Gage; Patrick, Miller & Kropf; Patton Boggs; Ryley Carlock &  Applewhite; Shell Oil Company; Snell & Wilmer; The Wilderness Society; Trout Unlimited; U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resources Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Western Resource Advocates.

Related Fellowships & Scholarships

  • Charles N. Woodruff Fellowship is for Natural Resources Law Center interns
  • Environmental Law Society Summer Fellowship for low-paid or unpaid summer internships in non-private organizations
  • John & Cynthia Schultz Law Scholarship for natural resources, oil and gas, energy, or Constitutional law
  • Sustainable Development Scholarship for real estate development or land use policy
  • Welda and Gordon Allott Natural Resources Law Scholarship for Natural Resources Law Center research assistants
  • The David L. Harrison Innovations in Water Law & Policy Fellowship
  • The Sandgrund Environmental Law Fellowship

Events

Colorado Law hosts about 25 events on environmental and natural resources issues each year, from workshops and lunchtime roundtables to multi-day conferences and contemporary lectures attended by more than 300 people. Many of these events are annual, such as the Getches-Wilkinson Center’s Annual Summer Conference.