Online MJ in Environmental Law

Few regulatory systems have the global reach and critical importance of environmental law, and the most essential work on environmental issues demands deep knowledge of the relevant legal framework.

The online Master of Jurisprudence in Environmental Law from Tulane University Law School offers up-to-the-minute training in these evolving regulations to participants on all sides of environmental issues—businesses, industries, individuals, governmental regulators, environmental groups and more. If you work in one of these regulated entities, regulatory bodies or advocacy groups, embrace this opportunity to develop expertise across the field of environmental law and learn to appreciate its impact on all potential stakeholders.

Situated in the environmentally rich and fragile Gulf Coast, Tulane Law School has an intimate connection to the importance of environmental protections and the complexity of their administration. Join us today, and build knowledge of air and water protections, environmental tort law, pollution and hazardous waste law, and other essential legal issues that can impact your career, your community and the planet.

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
  • 15-week semesters
  • Complete in as few as two years
  • Three opportunities to start per year

Request Program Info

Engage With Environmental Law Experts

By earning your MJ in Environmental Law at Tulane, you’ll have access to a unique opportunity to deepen your knowledge in specific legal areas through engagement and collaboration with some of the most notable forward-thinking legal minds in the field.

The Center for Environmental Law, operated by Tulane Law School, promotes programs that serve students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community at large. The center publishes the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, hosts an annual law and policy summit, and is home to the Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy and the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic.

The Center for Environmental Law can add additional dimensions to your student experience by helping you expand your network of peers and opportunities and by expanding your exposure to people and events that shape the way environmental law will be crafted, interpreted and administered in the coming years.

Tulane Students Read in the Law Library

Grow Your Career

Whether you want to work for an environmental advocacy nonprofit, a business whose industry is subject to environmental regulations or a government agency, there are no shortage of career opportunities that require knowledge of environmental law.

Hone your knowledge the regulatory framework that will shape the very future of life on this planet with the unique online environmental law degree from Tulane, and pursue roles in:

  • Government agencies
  • Regulated environmental agencies
  • Think tanks and public policy groups
  • Energy corporations
  • Renewable energy startups
  • Environmental advocacy organizations
Environmental law professional discusses an issue with a group

Online MJ in Environmental Law Curriculum

The online MJ in Environmental 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.

Pollution Control (3 credits)

This course focuses on providing students with a detailed understanding of federal pollution control statutes; i.e., the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and hazardous waste laws. It examines and contrasts their objectives, their regulatory schemes, and their relative successes. It will then explore how these statutes apply to a variety of contexts in energy-related industries.

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 course (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 then 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)
  • Land Use Law (2 credits)
  • Ocean and Coastal Law (2 credits)
  • Hazardous Waste Law (2 credits)
  • Law & Climate Change (2 credits)
  • Water Law & Policy (2 credits)
  • Law, Science, & the Environment (2 credits)

Download Curriculum

Elective courses offered in each term are subject to availability.

Admissions Deadlines
Application Deadline
December 11th
Spring 2024 Term
Next Start
January 3rd
Spring 2024 Term
Questions? Let's Connect