2024 Earth Law Summer Course

Applications Open Now

We have scholarships available.

It's Time To Align Our Law's With Nature's laws.

Join a global community passionate about elevating Earth Law to new heights. Gain invaluable insights from experienced lawyers and experts in our acclaimed program. Connect with a diverse network of Earth advocates dedicated to making a real difference on a global scale. Take action today and be a catalyst for positive change in the legal landscape.

The Course

The course is 12 modules, completely virtual, and will be based on our book:
Earth Law: Emerging Ecocentric Law - A Guide for Practitioners.

Our carefully curated selection of reading and viewing materials is designed to make the complexities of legal jargon more accessible and engaging for all participants. Dive into captivating narratives, visual aids, and real-world case studies that not only demystify legal concepts but also showcase the profound impact Earth Law has on our daily lives. Whether you're a seasoned legal professional or a newcomer, our resources will enrich your understanding, spark thought-provoking discussions, and empower you to champion environmental justice with newfound clarity and confidence.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Develop an understanding of why Earth Law has emerged in response to the failures of modern environmental law and the need for a new approach to tackle current environmental challenges.

  • Identify key challenges in establishing a new ecocentric social contract and propose creative solutions that incorporate ethical considerations, values, and the rights of Nature.

  • Evaluate legal strategies in emerging cases from around the world that demonstrate the effectiveness of Earth Law principles in addressing environmental issues and promoting sustainability.

  • Explore the growing areas of ecocentric governance and integrative lawyering as practical approaches to address complex environmental problems through interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • Envision the future of Earth Law education and practice, including career opportunities and strategies for integrating Earth Law principles into legal education and professional practice for a sustainable future.

Note about reading law: Whether constitutional, statutory, case law or in other forms, reading law is challenging even for those trained in the discipline. There is no need to fight one’s way through it. Although the coursebook includes cases, statutes and constitutional law, the sections surrounding the source material synthesize and contemporize the legal texts.

Earth Law Community and Affinity Groups:
Upon registration, participants will be given access to an Earth law online community and will be assigned to one of the geographic affinity groups - India, Africa, LatAm, U.S. and Canada, EU and UK. Participants will have the opportunity to change groups or opt out and to create subject matter affinity groups. These fora will provide the opportunity to engage on matters developed in the class as well as matters participants may introduce. ELC will provide facilitators to engage and manage the interaction.


Earth Law Summer Course Details

Modules & Weekly Schedule

June 3 - The Emergence of Earth law - Overview, Origins and Elemental Concepts

June 5 - Threshold Obstacles to Emerging Earth law 

  • Module 3: Property Law: The Ultimate Insult to Non-Human Nature 
    Zygmunt Plater, Tony Zelle, Zak Klein. 

  • Module 4: SCOTUS Decides what it Wants to Decide.

June 10 - Other than Human Beings have Interests and Responsibilities: Why Not Rights?

June 12 - Wielding Judicial Power to Protect Posterity: The Public Trust Doctrine and Rights of Future Generations

  • Module 7: The History and Reinvigoration of the Public Trust Doctrine
    Mary Christina Wood

  • Module 8: Rights of Future Generations and the Proliferation of Atmospheric Trust Litigation
    Valentijn Punt

June 17  - Movement Lawyering to Recognize and Protect Rights of Nature

June 19  - Obstacles and Opportunities in Earth Law’s Development Internationally

  • Module 11: From Nature’s Perspective: A Critical Analysis of Sustainable Development and International Legal Frameworks
    Rachelle Adam 

  • Module 12: Ecocide: A Genesis for Ecocentric International Law 
    Jojo Mehta

  • Module 13: Human Rights and Rights of Nature: A Symbiotic Relationship
    Rachelle Adam

June 24 - Human Relationships with Nonhuman Animals 

June 26 - Protecting the Ocean Globally and Locally

July 1 - A Global Survey of Emerging Ecocentric Law

July 3 - Messaging and the Language of Emerging Ecocentric Law: What do the Words Mean? 

  • Module 20: How Might We Communicate Better About Climate and Other Earth Systems Changes?

  • Module 21: Nature Conscious Governance: A New Approach to Give Nature a Voice and a Vote
    Alexandra Pimor, Lucy Ward, Pooja Sharma

July 8 - The Emerging Arc of Earth Law

  • Module 22: ELC Staff discuss their Past Successes and Ongoing Projects 

  • Module 23: Members of the 2021-2023 Earth Law Summer Course Cohorts share the impact of Earth law on their lives and work  

July 10 - Envisioning the Future of Earth Law
Tony Zelle, Herman Greene, Rachelle Adam, Grant Wilson


Is this for me?

  • This course is for anyone interested in the theory or practice of humans living in harmony with the rest of the Earth community. 

How much does it cost?

  • The course costs $497. We also offer partial and full scholarships. 

Do you have Scholarships?

  • Yes. We have 100 scholarships available.

Can I receive CLE Credits?

  • Yes. Click here to find information on how to apply for credit from your state bar licensing organization.

Can I receive credit from my college, university, or law school?

  • Yes, if your school offers credit for independent study, ELC will provide the information which typically has by schools who have given credit has been accepted.

Is the Coursebook included?

  • You will receive a limited-time digital version of the course. If you would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, you can do so here.

If you have more questions, please contact us at volunteer@earthlaw.org.


The Details

  • 24 Modules {6 weeks} 

  • Synchronous & asynchronous participation options

  • 200 spaces available

  • Up to 100 scholarships

  • $497 for the entire course

  • Recordings available

  • Group registration is available for law firms and college students

  • Earth Law Community and Affinity Groups

  • Earth Office Hours - Networking, study, idea, and opportunity development facilitated by Earth Law Education Faculty one hour per week. Attendance is optional.

  • Alumni network integration following completion of the course.


Your passion and expertise shine through in every course session, making it a truly enlightening experience. Your ability to inspire us to think critically and consider the needs of both current and future generations is commendable.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this course and to learn from someone as knowledgeable and passionate as you. Thank you for sharing your insights and for equipping us with the tools to make a positive change in the world.

~Maisie Paddon  Sussex, UK