Friday, August 13, 2010

First Year Students Interested in Environmental and Natural Resources Law Welcomed to Sturm College of Law

More than 50 new first year Sturm College of Law students who are interested in environmental and natural resources law were formally welcomed to the University of Denver this week.

The welcome event, sponsored by the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program (ENRLP), was part of the College of Law week-long series of orientation meetings and events.

The welcome event provided the incoming students an opportunity to learn more about the program's offerings as well as various events and groups related to environmental and natural resources law.

ENRLP Director Don Smith noted that the College of Law's environmental program is one of the best and most innovative programs of its kind in the world. A key factor in this regard is the law school's outstanding and broad ranging curriculum. He called the students' attention to several key areas of the curriculum:
  • Environmental law
  • Energy law
  • Natural resources law
He explained that each of these areas is considered in terms of domestic law and international law (and, in many instances, foreign law including the laws of some African, Asian, Latin American countries and the European Union). The program is also exploring and implementing new courses that reflect changing conditions both in the U.S. and internationally (for example, the "Sustainable Natural Resources Development Series," which is made up of three one-week short courses offered throughout the academic year).

Several members of the ENRL faculty also welcomed the students and explained their own interests and courses they teach:
  • Fred Cheever, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor; Dean Cheever is active in teaching about Land Conservation Transactions, Environmental Law, and other related courses; he is particularly interested in the Endangered Species Act
  • K.K. DuVivier, Professor of Mining and Energy Law; she is currently working on a book about renewable energy
  • Mike Harris, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) and Professor; the ELC has been involved in many successful legal actions aimed at enforcing federal environmental law
  • Bill Shutkin, Director of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute; Professor Shutkin explained the relationship between environmental and land use issues, and told students about the Institute's Annual Conference, which will be next held in Spring 2011; he encouraged students to consider volunteering for roles associated with the Annual Conference
  • Annecoos Wiersema, Professor of Environmental Law; her research focuses on international environmental law
In addition, several student leaders addressed the group. Third year law students April Shepard and Stephanie Fairbanks, the president and vice president respectively of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Student Society (ENRLS) encouraged the new students to become involved in ENRLS. They noted that ENRLS will sponsor various events throughout the year that the new students are invited to including Earth Week in the Spring 2011 semester.

Following the presentations, the ENRL faculty and student leaders responded to questions from the new students. Dean Cheever and Professor DuVivier noted that there will be advising sessions available next spring for all students as they begin to plan their Fall 2011 schedules and beyond. Students were also made aware of the extensive externship opportunities offered by the College of Law Externship Office, headed by Professor Ann Vessels. Finally, the students were told about the ENRL Speaker Series, which will kick off on Sept. 15 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. with remarks by two former U.S. Interior Department Assistant Secretaries John Carver (professor emeritus) and Rebecca Watson (a JD alum of the College of Law).

Mr. Smith closed the session by thanking students for attending and pointing out that they can follow news about the ENRL program at the ENRL blog, which can be accessed by clicking here.

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