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Environmental

Law Syllabus Highlights


Class Participation, worth 15% of your grade (2x class absences will not effect your grade, any absences after 2 will result in a decrease) Mock Trial Performance, worth 15% of your grade Short Paper Assignment (4 Total; 2-3 Pages each); 30% of your grade (Your lowest short paper assignment grade will be dropped) Final Exam OR Research Paper (or, Legal Memo), 40% of your grade

Grading


What will the exam consist of? The exam will consist of a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and one long essay question. Is the exam open book or closed book? The exam is closed book, with the exception of one small index card (3x5). The index card may be filled out in its entirety both front and back. If your index card is larger than 3x5 you will not be allowed to bring your card into the exam. Why should I choose the final exam over the essay? Do you like multiple choice? Do your strengths lie in the memorization of material? Is the material from class very accessible and easy for you to understand? The exam may be for you. The exam will require a combination of knowing specific terms: such as: what are TBELs? NQAASs? As well as applying your analytic skills to use what you know to solve a problem. Most likely in the form of a hypothetical. Given a set of facts what would be your advice? What are the arguments and counter arguments for each side? On the exam we expect to see BOTH arguments AND counterarguments. You will NOT get an A if you fail to include counterarguments. How do I prepare for the exam? 1. Review class notes 2. Review PowerPoint slides 3. Complete the study guide, which will include a list of important terms, cases, and topics that the exam may cover (distributed on March 26) 4. Complete the practice exam (distributed on March 26)

Final Exam- Frequently asked questions

5. Ask questions! We are available every Thursday after class to discuss any questions you have about the material or the exam. If we find it valuable, we will share your question and our answer to the class. (Disclaimer: A completion of 1-5 will not ensure an A in the class. Your grade is a combination of your participation, short paper assignments, and mock trial grade) When will the final exam take place? The final exam will be held on the last day of class. The exam should take the average test taker 2 to 2.5 hours. You may not take more than 3 hours to finish the exam.

Research Paper Frequently asked questions

What topic can I choose? The research paper can focus on any environmental law related topic. If you have questions about a specific topic please come to our office hours after class on Thursday. We will not take questions during class. Please refer to the original syllabus for more paper topic ideas. When do I have to know my topic? We have graciously extended the deadline to March 12th. If we have not discussed a topic with you by March 12th, in person or email, we will sign you up for the final exam. How long does the research paper have to be? The research paper must be 20 or more pages. This page number is required of a 3 credit class. How do I cite? ABA or Chicago style is fine. Please include a bibliography page. If you would like to learn about legal citing feel free to ask during office hours. Whatever form of citing you choose, you must be consistent throughout your paper. Points will be deducted if you do not cite a source or consistently cite improperly. What is a legal memo? Do I have to write a legal memo? What is the difference between a legal memo and a research paper? You do not have to write a legal memo. If you are more comfortable with writing a research paper your paper can follow that format (introduction, body, conclusion) A legal memo answers a legal question by mostly looking at case law and statues. For example, the question, Can hydrofracking be regulated under the Clean Water Act? In order to answer this question you would have to look at the specific language in the Clean Water Act, any EPA regulations and/or case law that address the question.

A research paper would not answer a legal question but would be more of an analysis of a legal issue or debate. For example, what are the political difficulties surrounding hydrofracking? In that particular research paper you would research the political debate in Congress over regulating hydrofracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act or FRAC of 2011. You could also write about the difficulties of regulating hydrofracking using state or town law. What if I have questions as I am writing my paper? Feel free to give hand in any outlines or rough drafts for comments. We will review and give you suggestions. Outlines and rough drafts, for feedback, need to be handed in by: April 22nd When is the paper due? The last day of class