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Law Courses Catalog

Water Law

NOTE: This course is available as an On Campus Section for in-person students or an Online Section designed for LLM Distance Students. Each section has its own course description. See the note below about eligibility for the Online Section for JDs, MSLs, and residential LLMs. 

On Campus Section

This course explores legal schemes for securing and using water rights in surface water and groundwater for private and public uses in the United States. We will examine the riparian and prior appropriation doctrines of water allocation, groundwater management regimes, the public rights to water, and federal and tribal water management and regulation of water resources. We will also consider the evolving role of science, economics, and policy in water allocation law. Evaluation will be based on two papers and class participation. The paper requirements for this class qualifies as a substantial paper for purposes of the Certificate in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law but does not qualify for the WIE writing requirement.

Online Section

This course will be offered online. This course explores legal schemes for securing and using water rights in surface water and groundwater for private and public uses in the United States. We will examine the riparian and prior appropriation doctrines of water allocation, groundwater management regimes, the public rights to water, and federal and tribal water management and regulation of water resources. We will also consider the evolving role of science, economics, and policy in water allocation law. Evaluation will be based on two papers and class participation.  Students will be expected to view the class videos in the timeframes allotted. 

Notes for LC JDs, MSLs, and residential LLMs:

Lewis & Clark JDs, MSLs, and residential LLMs are permitted to take some courses online within the limits of LC’s distance learning policy. Those students should consult the distance learning policy prior to signing up for distance learning courses.

Students who are on campus are asked to take the in-person version of the class when both an in-person and online version of the same class are offered in the same semester, but may petition the Associate Dean of Students, Libby Davis, to take the online version if they have a compelling reason for doing so:  eadavis@lclark.edu

JD students at other law schools may be able to take online courses if space permits and permitted by their home school. Contact Associate Dean of the Environmental Law Program, Janice Weis, at jweis@lclark.edu