Environmental Law Certificate Program (Harrisburg)
Widener Law students interested in earning an Environmental Law Certificate can undertake a course of study through the Law & Government Institute designed to explore the impact of the legislative process on environmental law.

Contact Information
Director: John C. Dernbach
Phone: (717)-541-1933
Email: jcdernbach@widener.edu

Required Courses
In order to meet requirements for the Environmental Law Certificate, you must successfully complete the Government Law Colloquium (1 cr.) and Environmental Law (3 cr.). You must also successfully complete at least one Elective Course, one Seminar, and one Skills Course from the following list:

Elective Courses Available on the HBG Campus:
  • Agricultural Law 
  • Natural Resources Law 
  • Animal Law 
  • Environmental law Clinic 
  • Land Use and Planning 
  • Oil and Gas Law 
Elective Courses Available to HBG students on the DE Campus:
  • Climate Change Law (3 cr.) 
  • Public Utility Law 
  • Toxic Torts
  • Climate Change 
  • International Environmental Law 
  • Sustainable Development Law
Skills Courses:
  • State Administrative Law and Practice
  • Environmental Litigation 
  • Legislative Drafting
The Environmental Law Center Director may approve other courses or seminars for any of these requirements.

Externship Requirement
In addition to the required classes, you must complete one of the following externships:
  • Environmental Hearing Board 
  • Game Commission 
  • Pennsylvania Clean Air Council 
  • Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future 
  • Department of Environmental Protection 
  • Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
The Environmental Law Center Director may approve other environmental externships for this requirement. In addition, the Director may waive the externship requirement for students who have taken the Environmental Law Clinic and who are taking at least one Elective Course in addition to the Environmental Law Clinic.

Writing Requirement

You must also complete a scholarly paper on an environmental law subject. This paper may be submitted to satisfy the upper class writing requirement that all students must meet. You may undertake this paper in conjunction with any seminar that satisfies the credit requirements for the Environmental Law Certificate. You may also undertake this paper as a separate, independent research course on an environmental subject. If you undertake this paper as in a separate course, you must obtain prior approval of your paper topic from the Director of the Environmental Law Program.

Graduating GPA Requirement
A Juris Doctor candidate must earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.6 in the required certificate courses to be awarded the Environmental Law Certificate.

Certificate with Honors
A student earning a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or more in certificate courses will receive a Certificate in Environmental Law with honors.

If you are interested in obtaining an Environmental Law Certificate, you should fill out an Expression of Interest form in the semester that you begin to take environmental law courses. After submitting the form, you should contact Professor Dernbach for advice concerning the program. Graduating students who wish to certify meeting the requirements for a Law & Government Certificate should fill out the Application for a Law & Government Certificate.