Certificate in Energy, Innovation, and Sustainability Law

This page describes the requirements to obtain a certificate in Energy, Innovation, and Sustainability Law and provides links to the documents that must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by February 1st for a May graduation date or October 31st for a January graduation date.

Please also visit the Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law program page for general information about Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law at Lewis & Clark Law School.



Paper Requirement

Practical Skills Requirement

Certificate in Energy, Innovation, and Sustainability Law

The Certificate in Energy, Innovation, and Sustainability Law (the “Certificate”), which will be awarded to qualified Lewis & Clark Law School students at graduation, recognizes successful concentration within both the Business Law and the Environmental Law curriculum with an emphasis on energy law topics . A student who satisfies the requirements for the Certificate will be entitled to a certificate denominated “Certificate in Energy, Innovation, and Sustainability Law.” Students who believe that they will fulfill the requirements must complete an application that is available from the Registrar in order to be awarded a certificate.

The Associate Dean of the Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law program, Janice Weis, will serve as the administrator for the Certificate in Energy, Innovation, and Sustainability Law. Any questions may be directed to her at: jweis@lclark.edu or 503-768-6649.

Students are also welcome to seek curriculum advice for the certificate from the environmental faculty and the business law faculty.

Students qualify for the Certificate by satisfying the course, paper, practical skills, and grade point average requirements set forth below.

A. Course Requirements

Required Core Courses

Elective Courses

In addition to the required courses listed above, students must take at least two courses from each of the following two lists (i.e., at least two energy/environmental courses and at least two business courses), for a total of at least 4 additional courses and 8 additional credits:

Business Law Courses (must take at least 2 from this list):

Energy/Environmental Law Courses (must take at least 2 from this list):

Please note that curricular offerings and titles may change from time to time and the fact that a class is listed above does not necessarily mean that it will be offered during the period when the student is pursuing the Certificate. Classes not on the list may be deemed to count as an elective for the Certificate in the discretion of the Certificate Administrator. Students should seek approval in advance of registering for any course or combination of courses that do not automatically satisfy Certificate requirements, to ensure that the course or courses will qualify.

Transfer Credits: Course credit may also be allowed, with the advance approval of the Certificate Administrator, for one course, of up to three units of credit, taken at another law school. In that event, only the credit earned for that course will be applied to the Certificate; the grade earned for the course will not be counted in determining the student’s GPA for the Certificate. 

Ungraded Courses: Up to 4 ungraded credits may be applied to the Certificate (this applies to the practical skills component of the certificate, noted below.)

B. Writing and Practical Skills Requirement

Writing requirement: Students must also complete one paper on a topic that relates to energy law or on a topic that combines energy law and business law concepts (done as part of coursework or as an independent study). The paper may also count as the student’s Writing Intensive Experience (WIE) or Capstone paper, if the paper meets those requirements and if the student desires but the paper is not required to be either a WIE or a capstone. The paper must be “substantial” meaning it counts for at least half of the grade in a course and several writings in a course could cumulatively count for this requirement. Students must obtain the approval of the Certificate Administrator to ensure the paper meets the writing requirement.

Practical skills requirement: Students are also required to gain practical skills in energy law through one of more of the following: (a) taking a practical skills course with an energy focus (externship, legal practicum, or clinical work) for at least 3 credits; (b) through paid employment in the energy law field; or (c) through service learning or pro bono work on a project involving energy law. Students must complete at least 130 hours (the equivalent of a 3-credit externship) in their chosen practical skills option. Students can fulfill this requirement by doing more than one paid or unpaid job or project that cumulatively meet the hours requirement.

Students must obtain the prior approval of the Certificate Administrator to ensure the experience fulfills the practical skills requirement.

C. Grade Point Requirement

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of B- (2.70) or better in classes taken and selected as qualifying for the Certificate. No credits transferred from another law school and accepted for use toward a Certificate, or credits for a class taken on a credit/no credit basis and approved by the Certificate Administrator, will be used in computing the grade point average.

D. Pursuing Other Certificates 

Students are not prohibited from seeking another certificate along with the energy certificate. However, pursuing more than one certificate is generally not advisable except in certain circumstances and students are strongly advised to work with the directors of the certificate programs in advance to determine the feasibility of obtaining more than one certificate in addition to meeting all graduation requirements. Note that Administrative Law and Business Associations I are the only courses that may be applied to the energy certificate and another certificate (if those courses are applicable to another certificate). No other classes may be counted towards another certificate and the energy certificate. Papers used for any other certificate, including the environmental and natural resources certificate, may not be applied towards the energy certificate and the paper required for the energy law certificate may not be used as one of the two papers needed for the environmental law certificate. Also please note that a student who wishes to obtain both the energy law and environmental law certificates cannot double count any classes towards both certificates other than Administrative Law, which is required for both. No other classes taken may be counted towards both the environmental certificate and energy certificate.

Students should also check the requirements for any other certificate they may wish to pursue to see if there are any other restrictions on obtaining two certificates as each certificate’s requirements vary.