Multiple wind turbines deployed outside.
Energy and Environmental Law Certificate (JD)

Through the Center for Energy and Environmental Law (CEEL), students at UConn School of Law have access to rich educational experiences in the growing fields of energy and environmental law. CEEL is on the vanguard of environmental and energy education—recognizing these disciplines must be combined in study and in preparing our students.

Opportunities for students include unparalleled classroom learning — in courses ranging from International Environmental Law to Land Use, Energy Law to Climate Law — that may include, at the student’s discretion, the chance to work one-on-one with a member of the CEEL faculty to complete a major writing project. Students may also opt to engage in real-world, hands-on clinical training, through the CEEL externship clinic, externships with federal agencies or nationally-recognized nonprofit organizations through the Semester in DC program, and a special externship program with the State of Connecticut’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Through these opportunities, CEEL provides students with a chance to focus on the areas that most engage and excite them.
Students have the opportunity to pursue a Certificate in Energy and Environmental Law by creating an individualized curriculum of energy and environmental course work, as well as one of the following: an advanced writing project, a clinic, or an externship with an appropriate law firm, energy company, utility, regulatory or quasi-public agency, or public interest organization. Through the certificate program, students develop substantive knowledge in energy and environmental law, as well as strengthen their analytical, lawyering, legal research, and writing skills.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Energy & Environmental Law, students will be able to:

  • Explain and apply core legal principles and policy considerations relevant to the practice of energy and environmental law.
  • Interpret and research federal, state, public utility, and local laws and regulations governing energy and environmental law practice.
  • Perform essential lawyering skills such as document drafting, collaboration, negotiation, and advising clients in energy and environmental law settings.
  • Analyze and solve complex legal problems involving cutting-edge issues such as climate change law, renewable energy law, international environmental law, and environmental torts.
JD Student Requirements

Twelve (12) credits are required to complete the certificate.

Required Course
Energy Law Courses
Environmental Law Courses
Sustained Project (3 credits)
including any one of the following: 
  • A writing project that produces a substantial paper of an intensive, analytical character which if of high quality that is supervised by a member of the energy or environmental law faculty. If there are multiple drafts, this paper may also be used to satisfy the Upper Class Writing Requirement; 
  • Participation in the Environmental Law Clinic or the Energy and Environmental Law Practice Clinic; or 
  • An externship or externship clinic in energy or environmental law with a significant writing requirement.

The certificate is open to all JD students. Prior to graduating, you must submit the “Certificate Studies, Intention to Participate Form” form to the registrar’s office.

Please direct questions about the certificate program to Professor Joseph MacDougald, professor in residence and executive director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Law. 

*Climate Law may be used to satisfy either the Environmental Law or the Energy Law requirement. It may not be used to satisfy both requirements. The topic for the Climate Law research paper must reflect the discipline area to which the course is being applied.


Professor Joseph MacDougald