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Tracy Hester
Climate Change Law
LAW 5397
Spring 2012


LAW 5397

Spring 2012




This course will explore the fast-growing field of climate change law and policy, including new developments in statutes, regulations, permitting policy and litigation. We will focus on providing the conceptual familiarity and resources needed to stay apace with rapid changes and developing information in this field.


Our primary textbook will be Osofsky and McAllister, Climate Change Law and Policy (draft 2012) ("Osofsky"). Because this new textbook is in final draft format prior to publication this fall, the authors have graciously agreed to allow us to use an electronic version this semester. We will also use materials from this website and handouts in class.

If you are interested in practicing in this area, I will also provide a set of supplemental reference materials for purchase or check-out at the Law Library reference desk. 


Our class reading assignments will follow the course syllabus listing. Of course, you should read each day's assigned materials in advance and be prepared to discuss them in class. If we need to adjust the reading assignments, I'll be sure to announce the changes in class and post them to the class website as quickly as possible.


Pursuant to the Law Center's policies and ABA requirements, you will need to attend at least 80% of the classes to receive credit for this class. While I won't take daily attendance, you will have to verify on your final examination that you have complied with the Law Center's rules and attended at least 80% of class sessions. I also reserve the right to adjust your final grade to reflect class attendance if you miss more than four classes (i.e., 80%).

If we need to cancel any classes, we will reschedule a make-up class as soon as possible. According to the Law Center's policy, we will likely hold the make-up class on a Friday.


Please be prepared to discuss the readings assigned for that day. I will call on students, and will expect that you have completed the assigned reading. Of course, you can also volunteer comments and questions.

I will adjust grades by one notch (i.e., a half-grade) based on class participation. It works both ways - you can raise your grade with energetic and insightful participation, or you can lower it by consistently failing to prepare adequately for class.


I will ask each student to participate in a panel with two classmates to take the lead on four key legal questions that we will explore this semester. This class discussion exercise will require some additional investigation and research outside of the class materials. This activity will count for 30 percent of your grade.

The remaining 70 percent of your grade will come from a final examination. The open-book examination will consist solely of essay questions, and will have a page limit. We will discuss the specific format of the examination towards the end of the semester in a review session.

As per Law Center policy, I reserve the right to make adjustments to grades based on attendance and class participation. This adjustment can be upward or downward.


My office is located at Faculty Suites TU-II in office 142. You can reach me during my regular office hours at 4:00 to 5:30 pm on Wednesdays and 9:00 to 11:30 am on Tuesdays, and I'm also glad to meet with you at any time you'd like to stop by my office (assuming that I'm not otherwise busy). Please call or email me if you'd like to schedule a visit during any particular time. You can reach me at 713-743-1152 (office) or at tdheste2@central.uh.edu .