Student Opportunities

Academics and Externships

Students interested in environmental law have numerous academic opportunities at Carolina Law. The school offers a range of core and cutting-edge specialty classes, and some courses allow students to work on real environmental issues in administrative agencies with the agency personnel. Students may take environmental, energy or resource courses at Duke Law School and North Carolina Central Law School if that course is not offered at UNC in the same semester.

All climate change courses available at UNC-Chapel Hill

In addition to traditional classroom instruction on environmental and energy law, students engage in experiential learning on these subjects through enrolling in the Externship Program.  Through this academic program, students work with practicing attorneys while supervised by law school faculty.  Local sites include:

  • NC Attorney General-Environment-Air, Land and Water
  • NC Department of Environmental Quality
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • EPA Air Quality Division (RTP)
  • Cooperative Solar – Energy Law
  • GoTriangle
  • Land Loss Prevention Project
  • NC Conservation Network
  • UNC School of Government: Environmental Finance
  • Cary and Durham City Attorneys
  • Administrative Law Judges
  • Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Southern Environmental Law Center

Students can also enroll in a Semester in Practice externship during the fall semester of their 3L year at one of the following sites: 

  • DOJ – Environmental Enforcement and Natural Resources in DC
  • EPA in DC and Atlanta
  • Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta
  • EarthJustice NYC
  • Southern Environmental Law Center (Asheville, Atlanta & Chapel Hill)

Student Organizations

The student-run Environmental Law Project (ELP) undertakes recycling projects, coordinates pro bono projects, and works with faculty on research exploring current topics in environmental law. ELP students also produce papers for the Environmental Law Symposium at the annual Festival of Legal Learning, North Carolina’s largest environmental law continuing legal education program.

Pro Bono Projects

Carolina Law’s Pro Bono Program connect law students with hundreds of pro bono projects under the supervision of practicing attorneys in both public interest and private practice. The program is administered by a 13-student board and one faculty supervisor who work throughout the year with community partners, legal aid offices, law school student groups, professors, alumni, private attorneys, and fellow students to facilitate individual pro bono projects, special clinics, and group trips in which students can participate.

Moot Court Teams

Carolina Law moot court teams compete in the Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, hosted by the Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, and the National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition, hosted by the West Virginia University College of Law.