PUBLISHED:September 18, 2010

Duke Law awards first environmental law certificates

Three LLM graduates in the Class of 2010 were the first to obtain Duke Law’s new certificate in environmental law.

Ismael Barrios, Max Larrain, and Clemens Schmied completed a specific track of courses and research to earn the certificate, which was developed last year to provide international students an opportunity to specialize in a quickly growing area of international law. Barrios, Larrain, and Schmied trained as lawyers in Peru, Chile, and Austria, respectively, before studying at Duke.

“Duke’s strength in environmental law is very attractive to international students,” said Jennifer Maher, assistant dean for international studies, a fact confirmed by the certificate recipients.

“I knew that Duke Law School had an excellent reputation in environmental law before I came to Durham,” said Schmied. “The fact that I could be one of the first to receive the environmental law certificate was one of [the reasons] I chose to go to this wonderful law school.”

“Especially in the seminars, the discussions reflected different types of concerns, and law students could take advantage of a really deep technical view from various areas,” said Barrios, a construction-industry lawyer who added that environmental law is an expanding field in Peru. “It [also] is of great help that the faculty members have both an outstanding academic perspective and past practical experience.”

The certificate program requires a combination of courses that include Environmental Law and Readings in Environmental Law, a course for certificate program students focusing on important readings in the field. During two semesters, students must take a total of nine credits in environmental law, in addition to 15 credits through the standard LLM curriculum, and complete a substantial research project in a related field.