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Environmental Law


The scales of justice made up of green leaves with a recycling logo in the backgroundWelcome to the Environmental Law research guide.  This guide is intended to help you start your research of environmental law issues by outlining some of the authoritative environmental law in the U.S., as well as other helpful resources.  Environmental law is more complicated than some other areas of law, as it is constantly changing, and the most current scientific developments must also sometimes be taken into account.

Legal Databases

Lexis has compiled an Environmental Law page with cases, statutes, secondary materials, and other resources.

Westlaw has also complied an Energy & Environment page with cases, statutes, secondary materials, and other resources.

Bloomberg Law has an Environment & Energy News page, which is a great tool for staying up-to-date on the most recent developments.

Environmental Law Research Methodology

The basic environmental law research methodology is similar to other areas of legal research, with a couple of added steps:

1. Establish the facts.

2. Identify the issues.

3. Locate authority.

4. Evaluate authority - make sure to evaluate for credibility, objectivity, accuracy, scope, and currency.

5. Locate scientific and/ or technical developments.

6. Evaluate scientific and/ or technical developments.

Repeat steps 1-6 as necessary to complete research and analysis of issues.

7. Develop conclusions and recommendations.

8. Communicate research results and recommendations.


This research guide was written in October 2021 by USD Law student Lilly Walker.

Inspiration was drawn from the UCLA Environmental Law Research Guide.