NREL Law Programs

  • Natural Resources and Environmental Law Emphasis

    In 2008 College of Law introduced a new emphasis in Natural Resources and Environmental Law (NREL), allowing you to earn a designation on your diploma upon completion of at least 18 hours of designated course work in the area and a major writing project. The program was developed in response to the general fact that the practice of law is becoming more specialized and specifically that the practice of natural resources and environmental law has become highly technical and complex.  The course of study is designed to give you broad expertise in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and an understanding of how to develop in-depth expertise in a specific topic while not sacrificing your broader legal education. In addition, due to the strong collaboration between the College of Law and other Colleges at the University of Idaho through the development of concurrent degrees in Water Resources and Environmental Science, you will have the opportunity to enrich your experience by taking courses outside the law school and learning to integrate science and social science with law.

  • JD/MS or JD/PhD Water Resources Concurrent Degree

    Launched in 2006, the University of Idaho Waters of the West (WoW) – the only interdisciplinary program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and one of few such programs in the nation – draws on expertise of 56 faculty members in seven colleges to integrate aspects of law, natural resources, engineering, political science and more. The unique program focuses on developing sophisticated strategies and solutions to the world's critical water shortage. Students may obtain either an MS or a PhD in any of three tracks within the Water Resources Program concurrently with their JD. Double counting of 18 credits for the JD/MS and 21 credits for the JD/PhD allows completion of the JD/MS in four years and the JD/PhD in 6 years.

    Admission

    Students are required to apply separately to the College of Law and the College of Graduate Studies, Water Resources Program, and on acceptance to each college, must apply to the concurrent degree program. The LSAT may be substituted for the GRE on application to the College of Graduate Studies. Acceptance to both colleges does not have to occur simultaneously.

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    Course of Study

    The first year will be completed entirely in the law curriculum. Students may begin taking graduate courses in their second year and should finalize selection of a graduate committee and filing of a study plan with the College of Graduate Studies by the end of their 2nd year. Law fees will be charged for the first 3 years of study and graduate fees will be charged for each subsequent year.

  • JD/MS Environmental Science Concurrent Degree

    Rising interest in the connection between sustainable economic development and environmental protection has increased the demand for professionals with both legal and technical training. To meet this demand, the University of Idaho College of Law and the University of Idaho College of Graduate Studies Environmental Science Program offer a concurrent degree program.

    The concurrent program combines the study of scientific, social, philosophical and legal aspects of environmental issues.

    The program is designed to allow students to obtain both a J.D. from the College of Law as well as a M.S. Environmental Science from the College of Graduate Studies in as few as eight semesters through double counting of 18 credits.

    Admission

    To be eligible for the concurrent Juris Doctor (J.D.)/Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science program, you must apply separately and be admitted into each program and then be admitted into the concurrent degree program. The LSAT may be substituted for the GRE on application to the College of Graduate Studies. Admission into the concurrent degree program is dependent on a demonstrated ability to excel in an intense, interdisciplinary educational environment.

    More:

    Course of Study

    The first year will be completed entirely in the law curriculum. Students may begin taking graduate courses in their second year and should finalize selection of a graduate committee and filing of a study plan with the College of Graduate Studies by the end of their 2nd year. Law fees will be charged for the first 3 years of study and graduate fees will be charged for each subsequent year.

  • JD/MS or JD/certificate Bioregional Planning and Community Design Concurrent Degree

    In 2006, the University of Idaho created the Building Sustainable Communities initiative and Bioregional Planning and Community Design academic program, an interdisciplinary effort spanning nine participating departments in eight different colleges. The program’s mission is to prepare future public leaders, create and disseminate new knowledge, and assist communities and organizations in planning for sustainable development, sustainable and efficient conservation planning and management, and sustainable human quality of life, within and across bioregions.

    Beginning in 2012, Bioregional Planning and Community Design partnered with the College of Law to offer a concurrent JD/MSBioP degree. This concurrent program allows students to develop an expertise in various aspects of bioregional planning – e.g., land use, transportation, economic, conservation planning – while also gaining knowledge and experience in the legal tools and rules that regulate the implementation of those plans. Students are able to earn both a J.D. from the College of Law as well as a M.S. Bioregional Planning from the College of Graduate Studies in as few as eight semesters.

    Admissions

    Students are required to apply separately to the College of Law and the College of Graduate Studies, Bioregional Planning and Community Design Program. On acceptance to each college, students must also apply to the concurrent degree program. Acceptance to both colleges does not have to occur simultaneously, and many students apply to the Bioregional Planning and Community Design Program during the first year of law school.

    Other Information

  • JD/PMS Professional Science Masters Concurrent Degree

    To meet the needs of students planning to practice law but seeking greater knowledge of the role of science in application, the College of Law has partnered with the University of Idaho’s interdisciplinary Professional Science Masters program. Unlike other concurrent degree options, this program combines two professional degrees. The PSM offers opportunities in six tracks:

    1. environmental contamination;
    2. sustainability science;
    3. climate change;
    4. water resources management;
    5. management of regulated river systems; and
    6. ecohydrological science and management.

    Additional information can be found on the Professional Science Masters Program website.