Certificate Program

At Loyola, law students can focus their studies on natural resources, pollution control, and land use by earning a special certificate in environmental law, which is presented at the time of graduation along with the degree.

Our certificate program offers a challenging course of study, spurs collaboration with students and professors with similar interests, and helps to distinguish graduates in the job market. Our program also leaves room to take other important courses. To be a great environmental lawyer, you have to be a great lawyer first. Loyola law graduates have a variety of national and international employment choices in the environmental field.

How it works

Students in their second or third year may elect to specialize in environmental law by earning a certificate. A student must apply no later than the end of the second year with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Students who have met the certificate requirements by the time of graduation will receive a special certificate along with their degree.


To earn a certificate in environmental law a student must satisfy the program’s curricular requirements, a writing requirement, and meet a minimum grade-point average.

Curricular Requirements

Students must complete the following courses, totaling 13 hours.

  • Environmental Law (LAW L858) (3 hours)
  • Natural Resources Law (LAW L835) (3 hours) OR Land Use Law (LAW L836) (3 hours)
  • Environmental Law and Policy Lab OR Environmental Litigation Skills

Seven additional hours from the courses listed below. All courses must be taken for a grade (with the exception of externships which are graded on a Pass/Fail basis).

  • Administrative Law (LAW L844) (3 hours)
  • Advanced Legal Writing (LAW L905) (3 hours) (with approval of the program chair)
  • Clinical Externship (LAW L900) (1-2 hours) (with approval of program chair)
  • Environmental Justice Seminar (LAW L834) (2 hours) (This course satisfies the requirement of Law and Poverty (LAW L781).)
  • Environmental Law Seminars (LAW 886) (2-3 hours) (may take more than one; seminar topics may include: Animal Law, Brownfields Redevelopment, Clean Air Act, Coastal Management, Energy Law, International Environmental Law, Toxic Torts, etc.)
  • Land Use Law (LAW L836) (3 hours)
  • Legal Research (LAW L898) (1-2 hours) (with approval of the program chair)
  • Legislation (LAW L847) (3 hours)
  • Mineral Law (LAW L838) (3 hours)
  • Natural Resources Law (LAW L835) (3 hours)
  • Selected Topics in International Environmental Law (LAW L929) (2 hours)

Writing Requirement: Students must complete an academic research paper of high professional quality concerning environmental law. They may fulfill this requirement in conjunction with an environmental course listed above, as part of Legal Research (LAW L898), Advanced Legal Writing (LAW L905), or through one of the Law School's journal offerings. The paper must be written for a grade and must be advised or co-advised by one of the designated environmental faculty. Advance approval of the topic is required.

Pro Bono: 40 hours of pro bono work are also required to complete the Certificate Program.

Grade Point Average: Students must complete the certificate requirements with a combined grade point average of 2.5 or higher, and with no individual grade below a C.