Environmental Advocacy

This course is a “learning by doing” course providing students with opportunities to practice skills along with instruction and feedback. Students will practice written advocacy, oral advocacy and negotiations with a focus on environmental issues. The course is designed to replicate real-world practice with students as the junior attorneys and professor(s) as the senior managing attorney using moot court and mock negotiation exercises as the vehicle to practice advocacy skills. The Fall semester is focused on skill building and the Spring semester is focused on preparation for a competition, including: the Pace University Law School National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, Stetson University College of Law International Environmental Moot Court Competition, West Virginia University National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition, and the University of Richmond School of Law Robert R. Merhige, Jr. National Environmental Negotiation Competition.

Students in the fall semester will receive two credits. Class sessions will address basic and advanced written and appellate advocacy and negotiations techniques. Students will write a short memo on behalf of a party related to a sample problem, engage in a series of moot court and negotiation sessions, draft competition briefs, and receive feedback on how to improve their advocacy. Before the end of the fall semester, students will be chosen to represent the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in spring competitions. Students will receive another two credits in the spring semester for their competition preparation and performance (minimum of six moots before the competition). In sum, the class turns traditional law course structure on its head: through their research, students become the experts on specific legal issues, are required to relate that expertise to different audiences with professor(s) and judges then providing insight on how best to use that expertise to achieve specific advocacy outcomes, just like in practice when junior attorneys do the bulk of the legal research/analysis. This course is graded on the A-F scale.

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course