Online MJ in Energy Law

If you work in or adjacent to a heavily regulated energy industry like oil, gas, electric or nuclear power, you know your success depends on precise knowledge of the legal frameworks that structure your field.

Tulane University Law School is proud to offer an online Master of Jurisprudence in Energy Law to provide the tactical, practical legal training to support both regulators and regulated professionals in these complex fields, as well as members of advocacy groups and other organizations influencing public policy and its enforcement. Over 30 credits of combined live and asynchronous instruction, you will build a new and vital skill set and knowledge base that will serve you whether you work in an energy-related industry or a regulatory agency.

Through in-depth coursework on the legal issues surrounding the development and regulation of fossil fuel, electricity, nuclear and renewable energy sources; climate change; and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, you can build the expertise to adeptly navigate any regulatory challenge you might face in some of our planet’s most crucial evolving industries.

Program at a Glance

  • 12 courses
  • 30 credits
  • Mix of required and elective courses
  • Culminating capstone project course
  • Mix of live classes and asynchronous coursework
  • Complete in as few as two years
  • Three opportunities to start per year

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Video Transcript

Saru Matambanadzo:
The Master of Jurisprudence Program in Energy and Environmental Law—they are two separate degrees that offer non-lawyers who need to know about the complex regulatory interactions in the environmental context and the energy context.

Christopher Dalbom:
This degree gives them the ability to be really skilled and adept on the law side of things, as well as their professional background that they’re bringing to the degree.

The online Environmental and Energy Program is a program that’s intended for a wide variety of people who do some sort of job that interacts with the environment and with energy.

Saru Matambanadzo:
We not only have offline modules that you take on your own, lectures that you can download onto your phone but five live sessions a term where you get to interact with your classmates and you get to interact with your professors. So we have maximum engagement and also flexibility and we combine that in a really great way.

Jennifer Cooper:
And that's what we often hear from students—that they really feel that we have built a community for them. One of the things that makes our online program unique right and being able to kind of bring students together, even if they're not in the same residential space.

Christopher Dalbom:
The students learn from each other because the students are all coming from different places and different backgrounds and different experiences. They’re kind of coming together, of different disciplines and different experiences. I think this really benefits everybody in the program, students and faculty alike.

Sally Richardson:
Students should be applying to the Tulane Online Master of Jurisprudence program because of the unique opportunity Tulane can provide. We have scholars from the Law School who are teaching courses on clean water, on clean air, on all of the issues that really matter in the areas of labor and employment, energy law and environmental law.

Saru Matambanadzo:
The great thing about this degree—not only does Tulane have a long historical strength in the areas of energy and environmental law, we also are right on the front lines of things like climate change and energy development. And so you get a kind of perspective from our faculty and from your classmates that you wouldn't get anywhere else.

Only in New Orleans are you going to have this experience at the edge of energy development and climate change.

Study Law at the Leading-Edge of Energy Development

Tulane University is proud to offer the MJ in Energy Law. This program is an exciting opportunity for professionals working in the energy industry to grow their expertise around the laws and regulations impacting their daily work.

Is the MJ in Energy Law a good fit for you? Watch the video to hear from the faculty and staff members who have helped shape this degree program, along with the MJ in Environmental Law. Learn more about the online student experience, the scholars teaching the courses and why Tulane should be your top choice for furthering your education and advancing your career.

Engage With Experts Across the Field

In a field as dynamic and rapidly evolving as energy law, the best training often transcends the classroom.

As a leader at the forefront of this field, Tulane Law School operates the Center for Energy Law to promote crucial research, create dialogue across the field’s internal boundaries and support our students as they seek professional opportunities and work to deepen their knowledge.

The Center for Energy Law leads efforts to define the scope and purpose of “energy law” as an academic discipline and regulatory framework. It also holds an annual Energy Law Conference to bring together the top legal, academic and industry minds in energy law, and it offers unique career-building opportunities like company tours and field visits.

Tulane professor Mark Davis

Supercharge Your Career Potential

Career opportunities abound in the energy industries, and a master’s in energy law can give you the expertise and confidence you need to seize one.

By receiving advanced training in the regulatory framework that governs energy industries in the U.S., you can guide energy corporations as they navigate existing complex regulations, help prepare industry veterans for the paradigm shift toward renewable energy and the legal framework that will structure that massive transition, help innovative startups develop the next wave of energy tech, and much more.

Earn your master’s in energy law from Tulane, and pursue roles in:

  • Government agencies
  • Think tanks and public policy groups
  • Regulated energy agencies
  • Renewable energy startups
  • Investment firms
  • Energy advocacy organizations
Energy law professionals discuss a current case

Online MJ in Energy Law Curriculum

The online MJ in Energy Law comprises 30 total credits, divided between 24 credits delivered over 9 core courses and an additional 6 credits of elective courses.

Core Courses

Environmental Law, Regulation and Policy Survey (3 credits)

The fields of energy and environmental law are intertwined at many junctions and anyone working in or regulating the industry will be confronted with, and therefore must have a solid grounding in the legal issues and doctrines related to environmental issues. This course is designed to provide that essential background. This course presents a survey of programs that govern the use and protection of natural resource systems, including energy, mining, timber, grazing, transportation and water resource development. It also addresses issues that arise in connection with management statutes for public lands, forests, parks, refuges, wilderness areas, and endangered species.

Introduction to Legal Study, Research and Legal Writing I (2 credits)

This foundational course introduces students to sources and functions of law in our society relating to energy law. The course begins with an overview of the American legal system and sources of law and introduces students to statutory interpretation and plain language analysis. In Legal Analysis I, students will learn to read and interpret statutory law and regulations, read and brief cases, and develop basic legal writing and analysis skills. Students will also learn to find and research legal information through multiple short research assignments focusing on energy law issues. Through multiple short writing assignments such as a case brief, an IRAC essay analyzing a statutory issue, and an e-memo interpreting statutory & regulatory law relating to an energy law topic, students learn to apply statutes and regulations to analyze legal issues relating to energy law.

Energy Law, Regulation and Policy Survey (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the general field of energy law. It begins with an overview of the global energy situation in terms of supply and demand as well as balanced projections for the coming decades both in the U.S. and abroad. It then will proceed to examine the primary sources of energy along with the multi-faceted role of electricity as the central source of secondary energy in our economy. This portion of the course will offer a survey view of how these energy sources are used and regulated from economic, reliability, and environmental perspectives. This will include an overview of legal and regulatory principles governing fossil fuel extraction and use, the coal industry, nuclear power, a range of renewable energy sources, and finally the regulation of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution. The course will conclude with a brief review of the growing role of conservation and climate change in energy markets here and to some extent abroad.

Introduction to Legal Study, Research and Legal Writing II (2 credits)

This course builds on Legal Analysis I to introduce students to the relationship between enacted & administrative law and common law. The course continues instruction on legal research methods in finding and analyzing cases and common law. Students learn to read and synthesize multiple cases and learn analogical and policy-based reasoning. Through multiple short writing assignments, such as a memo analyzing a statutory issue in the context of a litigated issue arising out of administrative enforcement action, students learn to apply statutes, regulations, administrative materials, and case law to analyze complex legal issues relating to energy law. (2 credits)

Administrative Law (3 credits)

The course explores the history, present status and nature of administrative agencies. The main emphasis is placed on administrative procedure, contrasting it with the judicial process, as well as constitutional limits on administrative action and the due process rights of persons who are adversely affected by agency action. Topics covered will include delegation of powers, the law of judicial review of agency actions, and procedural requirements of administrative rulemaking and adjudication.

Dispute Resolution (2 credits)

This course is designed to expose students to a variety of alternative (to litigation) dispute resolution mechanisms. These include mediation, administrative conciliation, and arbitration. Students will be instructed both in the legal doctrines governing the manner in which these mechanisms are implemented and enforced as well as the skills attendant to participation as a party to one or more of these mechanisms. Particular focus will be put on instructing students in the preparation and participation in these alternative mechanisms. This will be accomplished through drafting of documents and participation in simulated exercises.

Federal Regulation of Public Utilities (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and the agency charged with its implementation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Students will learn how “electric public utilities” are defined under the FPA, and which of their activities are regulated by the federal government under the FPA. They will also learn the rules that govern FERC’s regulation of various utility activities, from rates and services to mergers and acquisitions. Students will explore the differences between types of public utilities (including independent power providers, regional transmission organizations, and vertically integrated utilities). The course will also address FERC’s policymaking procedures and will include a discussion of ongoing public policy initiatives.

Environmental Justice & Public Trust (3 credits)

This course explores the complex dynamic of environmental justice concerns which involve environmental, social, economic, public health, and political problems. The course discussion regarding the concept of environmental justice involves a comprehensive examination of United States environmental law, case law, history, political science, and environmental policy. The course examines this environmental and public health problem and explores the growth of the nascent Environmental Justice Movement. It analyzes the complex mixture of environmental laws and civil rights legal theories adopted in environmental justice litigation. It examines, among other things, EPA’s Title VI administrative complaint, investigation, and resolution processes; and the quest by U.S. citizens living in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley for a human right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment in an international human rights forum. The course examines the idea of an environmental rights amendment in the bill of rights sections of state constitutions and the United States Constitution as a way to ensure a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment for all Americans.

Capstone (3 credits)

This course will require the students to draw upon the knowledge and skills learned in the previously taken courses by applying that knowledge and technique to four separate projects. Three of these projects will require the student to prepare a detailed paper consisting of a position statement in response to energy law-based administrative enforcement inquiry, documentation relevant to participation in a mediation or arbitration of an energy law-based dispute, a business plan for the development of an alternative energy source. Two of these projects will be done an individual basis. The third will be a collaborative effort by members of a team assigned by the instructor. The fourth project will consist of participation in the negotiation of, and subsequent drafting of, a contract between commercial entities in the energy industry.

Elective Courses

Natural Resources Law (2 credits)

This course will expand on the materials introduced in the Environmental Law, Regulation and Policy Survey course from Term 2. It will begin by examining the definition of natural resources and then examine such issues as alternative methods of conservation, preservation, the public trust doctrine, relative merits of private ownership versus governmental regulation of common areas, fragmentation, riparianism, threatened species, and bioregionalism. Special attention will be given to the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Forest Service Organic Act, and the property and takings clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

Clean Air Law (2 credits)

This course will expand on the materials introduced in the Environmental Law, Regulation and Policy Survey from Term 2 relative to water pollution. The focus of this course will be a comprehensive and detailed examination of the content of the federal Clean Air Act and the role of the federal Environmental Protection Agency in interpreting, applying, and enforcing the terms of this statute. But as there is also a large body of state and local regulation of air pollution, students will also be exposed to the issues addressed by this legislation and their methods of enforcement. Attention will also be given to drafting or amending emissions standards, greenhouse gas regulation, and environmental justice issues.

Clean Water Law (2 credits)

This course will cover the role and influence of the legal system on the use, allocation, and steward-ship of water resources in the United States. Since the field of water resources management is rapidly evolving to accommodate storm protection, ecosystem restoration and sea level rise an understanding of the policies that underlay our current laws and the factors that are influencing current policy and lawmaking will be an important part of the course’s focus. Students will be required to participate in one group project in which they will be asked to develop, present and defend a position paper on some aspect of the water resources management challenges arising in a coastal region of the United States.

Electives in development:

  • Alternative Energy Sources: Regulation and Development (2 credits)
  • Pollution Control (2 credits)
  • Hazardous Waste Law (2 credits)
  • Law & Climate Change (2 credits)
  • Fossil Fuel Regulation and Development (2 credits)

Download Curriculum

Elective courses offered in each term are subject to availability.

Admissions Deadlines
Priority Deadline
April 1st
Summer 2024 Term
Application Deadline
April 8th
Summer 2024 Term
Next Start
April 22nd
Summer 2024 Term
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