Since our law school is situated in the heart of the Appalachian oil, gas, and coal-producing region, focusing on these areas of the law is a natural fit.

Appalachian School of Law has established a Natural Resources Law Center devoted to training attorneys to navigate the increasingly complex world of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law in terms of energy production, conservation, and improving sustainability. 

The program follows the school’s overall commitment to offering a place for rational discussion, intelligent debate, and collaboration to foster cutting-edge programs and innovative scholarship with the ultimate goal to make students more effective and scientifically grounded policy makers and advocates.

Natural Resources Law Curriculum

ASL offers a Certificate in Natural Resources Law for students who want to practice in the natural resources, energy, or environmental field. The cornerstone of the certificate is our dynamic and exciting Natural Resources Law Curriculum. The program offers several introductory classes, such as Natural Resources Law and Environmental Law, which are designed to familiarize students with the law and issues. 

Additionally, ASL offers upper-level classes that allow students a chance to study cutting-edge issues like Sustainable Energy, which focuses on the legal implications of policies and technologies that seek to minimize carbon emissions in the development and delivery of energy. 

Some of our courses include:

  • Administrative Law
  • Appellate Advocacy (Natural Resources)
  • Coal, Oil, and Gas Law
  • Doing and Undoing Environmental Regulations
  • Energy & Utility Law and the SCC
  • Environmental Crimes & Torts
  • Environmental Law & Policy
  • Law of Coalbed Methane
  • Mineral Title Search and Examination
  • Natural Resources Law & Policy
  • Natural Resources: Why Lawyers and Engineers Need Each Other
  • Solar Energy Law & Policy
  • Supreme Court Survey of Energy Law Cases
  • Sustainable Energy Law

ASL continues to innovate its summer offerings by offering short courses (two-week terms) like the Law of Renewables, Oil and Gas Law, and Introduction to Natural Resources. 

What to Expect

Natural Resources Law students have the opportunity to learn and grow inside and outside of the classroom. Our program offers:

  • Highly respected Natural Resources and Environmental Law moot court teams, who make annual appearances at the Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition and the West Virginia National Energy & Sustainability Moot Court Competition
  • Natural Resources Law Journal
  • Multiple Natural Resources and Environmental Law student organizations
  • Attendance at annual natural resources conferences across the country
  • Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law internships during the summer
  • Educational trips to various sites in the region such as Contura Energy’s deep mine #41 located here in Southwest Virginia
  • Cutting-edge courses through our partnerships with other universities

These are the types of experiences that will prepare you for practicing in Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law when you graduate. Our Natural Resources Law Certificate will set you apart from the field when seeking what you most desire upon graduation — employment. ASL will prepare you for a career in these areas of law and our location in the mountains is the perfect place to obtain hands-on experience in the field. 

Natural Resources Law Center Contact

If you have questions or would like more information about the program, please contact:

Mark “Buzz” Belleville
Natural Resources Law Director