Georgia State students attend classes in a fast-growing city where large development projects are everywhere. Before State Farm Arena, Mercedes Benz Stadium, hotels and multi-use developments were built, they needed land use approvals. Attorneys who practice in environmental and land use law know the regulatory environment and how to work with communities. They often say that no two days of work are the same. You will learn why in the Certificate in Environmental and Land Use Law program.
As part of that certificate program, students must enroll in the Urban Fellows Program. Students study and discuss urban growth issues with top decision-makers.
The Certificate in Environmental and Land Use Law will provide you with knowledge, skills and values to land positions at private law firms, local government law departments, government agencies or corporations.
Students must be currently enrolled in the J.D. program in order to participate.
- Preparation: Students learn about environmental and land use issues. The certificate program exposes students to policies and laws and prepares them to practice law. Students review key concepts, laws, policies and institutions.
- Hands-on learning: Analyze and solve pressing land use and environmental law and policy issues. Certificate students build on their legal skills and knowledge as they progress through the required and elective courses.
- Transferable skills: Work on cross-functional teams.
- Explore issues: The Urban Fellows Program allows students to discuss critical issues affecting Atlanta, the U.S. and beyond.
- Create connections: Build a network of professionals with similar interests.
- City attorney
- Real estate or land use attorney
- Real estate development
- Counsel for federal or state agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Interior, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Transportation, etc.
- Environmental attorney
- Environmental compliance
- Counsel for environmental nonprofit organizations
Students must take 11 credit hours of required foundational courses, complete 9 hours of elective courses, and perform 10 hours of pro bono service to graduate with a Certificate in Environmental and Land Use Law. More details on each of the components may be found below.
Required Courses (11 credit hours)
- LAW 7101: Administrative Law (3 credit hours)
- LAW 7200: Environmental Law (3 credit hours)
- LAW 7200: Land Use Law (3 credit hours)
- LAW 7494: Urban Fellows Program (2 credit hours)
- Students must write the mandatory research paper on an urban topic and present it to the class.
- Ten hours of pro bono service, such as volunteering in the community, are also required.
Elective Courses (minimum of 9 credit hours)
- Taking electives in the College of Law
- Participating in externships
- Taking graduate courses in other Georgia State departments*
- Taking graduate courses at Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of City and Regional Planning*
*Students are limited to one elective course (3 hours maximum) from a non-law department, including Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning. Dual degree students may take two courses (6 credit hours) from a non-law department. Nonlaw courses are subject to the rules of the College of Law. Students must receive pre-approval from the associate dean for academic affairs before registering for non-law elective courses.
Approved Elective Courses
- LAW 7125 Comparative Law
- LAW 7202 Selected Topics in Environmental Litigation
- LAW 7203 Natural Resources Law
- LAW 7204 Urban Environmental Law Seminar
- LAW 7238 Hazardous Waste Law
- LAW 7242 Advanced Property Law Seminar
- LAW 7244 Public Health Law
- LAW 7273 International Environmental Law
- LAW 7277 International Human Rights Law
- LAW 7288 International and Foreign Legal Research
- LAW 7355 Law and Emerging Technologies
- LAW 7363 History of the Common Law
- LAW 7375 Legislation
- LAW 7385 Local Government Law
- LAW 7386 Advanced Local Government Law
- LAW 7397 International Perspectives on Urban Law and Policy
- LAW 7435 Real Estate Transactions
- LAW 7437 Advanced Real Estate Transactions
- LAW 7500 Water Rights
- LAW 7656 Sustainable Development Law
- Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning courses (3 credit hours max)
- Other non-law Georgia State courses (3 credit hours max)
- City of Atlanta
- Georgia Department of Law
- U.S. Department of Interior
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Department of Interior
- Federal Highway Administration
- Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
- Break the Cycle of Health Disparities
- GSU Environmental Law Society
- GSU sponsored events (conferences, workshops, training, lectures) involving land use, environmental law and urban issues
- Local or national real estate, environmental law, local government bar associations
- Work on a research project with faculty in the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth
A Certificate in Environmental and Land Use Law may be awarded to any student who fulfills all requirements before graduation.
Students must verify that they meet the certificate program’s requirements prior to graduation. They must successfully complete the:
- Required courses (Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Land Use Law)
- Elective courses (9 credit hours of approved courses)
- Urban Fellows Program (2 credit hours)
- Writing Requirement (LAW 7494 – Urban Fellows Class)
- 10 hours of pro bono service
To receive a certificate, students must submit a Verification for Certificate in Environmental and Land Use Law form. This form must be signed by your faculty advisor and submitted to Karen Johnston, Associate Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth . The deadline for submitting this form is the drop/add date of your last semester.
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