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Food & Agriculture Law Society

Curriculum Guide

Because there are so many ways the law touches food, from farm to table, nearly any course of law school studies overlaps with food issues along the way. 

The key is to have a strong foundation in law and then apply it.

Among the many examples are negotiating or litigating about a contract between suppliers or between employer and employee, problems with labels, toxic torts issues that impact the food chain, regulation of fertilizers and other substances, taxes imposed on businesses that grow, process, or sell food, land and water, constitutional issues, etc.

That said, academically, a good start is with a general course on Food Law. Then there are specific courses to deepen one’s understanding in a particular area: Sustainability - Food & Agriculture Seminar  or  Pacific Salmon Seminar  or a uniquely focused course through a Student Directed Reading Group, for example on Wine Law.

Experientially, there are also occasions to put into practice related law in the Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC) helping a food cart or micro-brewer set up; or in an externship with Western Resources Legal Center working on agricultural or ranching issues; or an experience with the ODA, USDA or FDA in an internship or externship through Career Services.

Documentation beats conversation, some highlights just from 1L year:


Pennfield v. Meadow Valley (broken ventilation system, suffocated pigs)

Gorris v. Scott (sheep slip off ship into sea)

Potts v Fidelity (employee suffers banana spider bite unpacking bananas)

Grace v. LA (L.A. pipe bursts, coffee in storage gets wet)


State v. Shaw (stealing fish from fishing nets)

Sipriano v. Great Spring Waters (bottler sued for taking too much ground water)

Coffin v. Left Hand Ditch (farmer first to divert the water and put it to beneficial use has the right to the water) 


Stout v. Bacardi (liquor distributor issues)

Curtis v. Catts (selling all tomatoes puts cannery in difficult situation),

Campbell v. Wentz (the walking carrot problem)

De Los Santos v. Great Western (sugar beet shipper not paid for everything he brought to market)

Hubbard v. Utz Quality Foods (potato farmer versus potato chip manufacturer)

Feld v. Henry S Levy (bread baking business).


Monsanto v. Geertson SeedFarms (bees affected by genetically modified pollen)


The case of “Annie Max” (Prison diets and veganism) 




General Law Courses:

Administrative Law


Civil Procedure I

Civil Procedure II

Contract Drafting Seminar

Contracts I

Contracts II


Legal Analysis and Writing I

Legal Elements


Regulation & Ethics of Law

Torts I

Wills and Trusts


Animal Law Courses:

Advanced Animal Law Clinic

Advanced Legal Research: Animal Law                                

Animal Cruelty

Animal Law Clinic

Animal Law Clinic II

Animal Law Fundamentals

Animal Law Graduate LLM Seminar I

Animal Law Graduate LLM Seminar II

Animals in Agriculture: Law and Policy Seminar

Equine Law Seminar

General Counsel Topics: Animal Law Sem 

Internship: Animal Law Legislation Seminar


Business Related Courses:

Advanced Business Seminar

Advanced Contracts: Commercial Transactions

Advanced Contracts: Sales & Leases

Advanced Small Business Legal Clinic

Advanced Tax Seminar

Advanced Trademark Practice and Strategy

Antitrust Law

Bankruptcy & Debtor/Creditor

Business Associations I

Business Associations II 

Business Principles for Lawyers 

Consumer Law

Copyright Law

Corporate Reorganizations Seminar

Corporate Tax

Income Tax I

Internship: In-House Counsel Seminar

International Business Transactions

Intellectual Property Law (Survey)

International Investment Law Seminar

International Trade Law and Environment

Internship: Entrepreneurship and the Law

Law & Economics 

Law Practice Management

Patent Law and Policy

Patent Litigation

Patent Prosecution

Secured Transactions

Securities Regulation

Sustainability in Law and Business Seminar

Sustainability - Food & Agriculture Seminar

Small Business Legal Clinic

Technology Transfer and Licensing


Employment and Labor

Employment Law I

Employment Law II

Immigration Law

International Human Rights Seminar

Law in Spanish

Transformative Immigration Law Seminar

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Workshop

Workers’ Compensation


Environmental Courses:

Climate Change Clinic

Energy Law

Environmental Clinic I: Earthrise

Environmental Clinic II: Earthrise

Environmental Justice (Survey)

Environmental Justice Seminar

Environmental Law Advanced Topic Seminar: Environmental Decision-Making

Environmental Law Graduate LLM Seminar I

Environmental Law Graduate LLM Seminar II

Environmental Litigation

Environmental Practice Seminar: Business Transactions

Environmental Trading Seminar

International Environmental Law

International Environmental Law Project I

International Environmental Law Project II

Internship: Environmental and Natural Resource Law

Internship: Environmental Prosecution I

Internship: Environmental Prosecution II

Law, Science & Environment Seminar

Natural Resources Law

NW Energy Law

Ocean and Coastal Law

Seminar: Sustainable food and agriculture 

Wildlife Law


Land Use

Commercial Real Estate Seminar

Cultural Resources Protection Seminar

Federal Indian Law

Forest Law & Policy

Internship: Sustainability

Internship: Western Resources Lgl Center  

Land Use Planning

Land Use Seminar

Natural Resources Law

Property Transactions

Public Lands & Resources Law

Public Trust Seminar

Water Policy Seminar


Litigation Courses:

Alternate Dispute Resolutions

Advanced Trial Practice Seminar

Conflict of Laws

Federal Courts

International Dispute Resolution

Environmental/Animal Law Advocacy I

Environmental/Animal Law Advocacy II     

Legal Persuasion Seminar      

Litigating Abroad

Mediation/Negotiation Skills Seminar

Moot Court: ABA Negotiation School Competition

Moot Court: Appellate Advocacy Regional Team

Moot Court: Client Counseling

Moot Court: Jessup International Law Competition School Competition

Moot Court: Mock Trial

Moot Court: N.A.L.S.A.

Moot Court: NALC School Competition


Legal Regulations/Political Process

Trial Advocacy


Public Health                     

Bioethics and Public Health Law

Public Health Law and Policy Seminar

Public International Law

Torts II: Toxic


Research Courses

Advanced Legal Research

Advanced Legal Writing Seminar

Advanced Writing Seminar: Interpretation and Application of Statutes

Individual Research

International and Foreign Legal Research

Student Directed Reading Group: General Information

Student Directed Reading Group: Human Trafficking

Sustainability in Law and Business Seminar 

Taxation: Real Estate Transactions Seminar