European Law for the American Lawyer

Energy prices and sources, climate change, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement, and genetically-modified food are just some of the common issues that the US and Europe each address as Western legal systems. Yet the two powers often arrive at different legal tools and different legal conclusions on issues of conflict. Nevertheless, the number one trading partner for the US is Europe. Total US investment in the EU is three times higher than in all of Asia. This means jobs, including jobs for lawyers. Parts of TTIP could be concluded as early as 2016. In order to work with the biggest US trade partner, US lawyers need to understand the basics of EU legal tools, including sources of law and institutions. They are emphatically not conceived or divided among the legislative-executive-judicial functions to which the US lawyer has become accustomed. Thus a study of the EU legal system is practical and offers the intellectual challenge of seeing how western legal structures and tools could be different. In this short course, examples will be drawn from legal issues common to Europe and the US, with a special emphasis on environmental law. No prior knowledge of EU law or environmental law is necessary, however.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade with pass/fail option. Take-home exam.