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Environmental Law at Loyola

Environmental law is one of the most rapidly changing fields in the legal profession. A few generations ago, you could count the major environmental initiatives on one hand. Today, there is an ocean of municipal, state, federal, and international law devoted to protecting natural resources, curbing pollution, and promoting sustainable land use.

"LA Chemical Corridor" copyright Kate Orff, Petrochemical America, 2012

Located in Uptown, New Orleans, Loyola University lies at the heart of one of the most fascinating and diverse ecological laboratories on the planet. Louisiana’s gulf shore abuts one of the nation’s most productive fisheries as well as one of the largest networks of off-shore oil and gas production. Its intriguing swamps and marshes make up a quarter of all coastal wetlands in the Lower 48, providing important habitat, water filtration, transportation corridors, and, of course, protection from hurricanes. Our marshes are now the subject of the most ambitious coastal restoration project ever proposed in the world.

Northwest of New Orleans lies a chain of African-American communities and petrochemical plants, the so-called “Chemical Corridor,” where residents, lawyers, and scientists have developed one of the country’s best known networks of environmental justice activism.

And in New Orleans itself, thousands of students, professionals, and residents are planning and constructing one of the biggest redevelopment projects ever conceived—intended to promote smart growth, sustainable neighborhoods, new public transit routes, integrated and affordable housing, and authentic cultural growth.

Environmental programs at the College of Law continue to expand. We offer a comprehensive environmental certificate program, through which students can concentrate their studies in the areas of natural resources, pollution control, and land use, and receive a certificate upon graduation along with their degree. Our students develop their skills in analyzing and solving problems through situational case studies and learn effective teamwork through environmental externships and through the “Katrina program” at Loyola’s nationally renowned Gillis Long Poverty Law Center.

In addition, our students pursue a variety of extracurricular activities, including our award-winning international environmental law moot court program and participation in our Environmental Law Society. Loyola law graduates pursue a variety of distinguished careers in environmental law and land-use. Our alumni currently hold positions at federal and state agencies, major corporations, and law firms with strong environmental practices.