Environmental Law

A wind turbine field at sunset

Environmental justice requires sharp legal tools. Carry your commitment to equitable resource development into regulatory agencies, nonprofits and courtrooms with hands-on experience and research in CWRU’s Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law.

Breaking New Ground

Founded in 2019 with a $10 million endowment from alumnus Coleman P. Burke, the Center supports externship opportunities and scholarships for incoming environmental law students. A noted environmental leader, Burke has served as a trustee or director of organizations including the National Audubon Society, the National Forest Foundation, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

In 2019–2020, the Center observes the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Act with two symposia, speakers and research papers. The spring symposium on environmental health issues will take place in conjunction with our Law-Medicine Center.

A Global Perspective

We offer an International Environmental Law course and have summer and semester-long externship placements around the country and globe where students can get real-world experience working on international environmental law issues, including at the Center for International Environmental Law, the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Legal Counsel and the World Health Organization.

Hands-On Training

Hone your research skills on real-life issues in labs and in our Milton Kramer Law Clinic. Your work addresses state and local public health questions, including environmental health regulations and emergency preparedness. Spend your capstone semester in the clinic or at one of a number of externship sites where you can focus on contemporary issues of your choice.

Dual Degrees

Complement your degree in environmental law with a master’s in a related field that enhances your career skills — think political science, public health, nonprofit management or biochemistry. All told, we offer dual-degree programs with 10 CWRU partners.

Dedicated Scholarships

In addition to CWRU’s comprehensive financial aid program—ranked 5th in the nation by Business Insider—the Burke Center for Environmental Law also offers scholarships to outstanding applicants in environmental law.