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Law and Enviromental Studies

Wind Turbines
Wind turbines by Great Falls, Montana
Photo by Alan Applebury (2007)

Law and Environmental Studies

Because the world of environmental law is inherently interdisciplinary, the environmental lawyer of the 21st century will benefit from an education that reaches beyond the bounds of traditional law school. Environmental legal problems invariably involve scientific, policy or ethical issues, and The University of Montana-Missoula is uniquely qualified to bridge the legal, social and physical sciences. We have combined a strong environmental and natural resources law curriculum with an established graduate program in environmental studies to provide the Joint Program in Law and Environmental Studies.

The Environmental Studies Program (EVST) was established as an interdisciplinary graduate program at UM in 1970. The EVST Program allows students to select an area of focus that may range from policy to hard science. Students, with their academic advisers, design their own programs of study, choosing from courses throughout the University.

Students enrolled in the Joint J.D./EVST Program can earn both degrees in as little as four years. Students will normally spend the first two years as full-time law students. The third and fourth years will normally consist of courses in both the School of Law and the EVST Program.

Students who wish to participate in the Joint J.D./EVST Program must satisfy the normal admission requirements for both the Graduate School, Environmental Studies Program and the School of Law. Students must apply independently to each program, indicating their interest in the Joint J.D./EVST Program. Please note: the deadline for application to the Graduate School Environmental Studies Program is February15.

For further information and application materials regarding the Environmental Studies Program, please contact:

Environmental Studies Program
The University of Montana
Rankin Hall
Missoula, MT 59812
406-243-6273

If you wish to pursue a joint degree program, please notify the Associate Dean of the School of Law as soon as you decide to do so, but in no case later than the beginning of your second year of law school.

Please be aware that you are not permitted to take any non-law credits in addition to the 6 non-law (9 in the joint J.D./M.B.A. program) credits you take as part of the joint degree program.

For the non-law credits you wish to take as part of any of the joint degree programs, you must specify these courses with the Academic Standards Committee before you take the courses. No retroactive selection is permitted.

How the J.D./EVST Credit is Earned

The J.D./EVST degree may be earned in as little as four years and the customary sequence is:

  • The first two years as a full-time student in the School of Law.  No EVST courses may be taken during the first academic year of law school.
  • The third and fourth years devoted to courses in both the School of Law and the EVST program.

The J.D./EVST credits are earned in the following way: