Environmental and Land Use Law

Environmental and Land Use Law

UVA Law School from the sky

Environmental and Land Use Law

Environmental challenges are rarely simple. From climate change to local conservation, the challenges of sustainability and long-term environmental health raise complex scientific, ethical, economic and political questions that defy easy answers.

The Environmental and Land Use Law Program at the University of Virginia empowers students to confront these questions during law school so they can build the practical skills, analytic tools and hands-on experience needed to make their mark as environmental leaders in government, business and the not-for-profit sector.

The program combines outstanding legal teaching with opportunities for interdisciplinary study, clinical experience and scholarly inquiry. Interacting with faculty who research and shape the law at the local, regional and global levels, students at the University of Virginia experience environmental law firsthand as it is practiced today, and study how it can better meet the next generation of challenges. With a wide range of courses, conferences, student groups and opportunities for independent study, students at the University of Virginia are part of a vibrant intellectual community that crosses boundaries of academic disciplines and between practice and scholarship.

The Setting

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle County provide a beautiful and uniquely fruitful setting for the study of land use and environmental issues. The area faces urgent regional growth concerns, testing relationships among urban, suburban and rural communities, all at a scale that makes these issues realistically accessible to student investigators. The proximity of the Shenandoah National Park, the Jefferson National Forest and the Chesapeake Bay (the Law School is in the bay watershed) provides further opportunity to study problems in regional growth, natural resource policy and watershed management.