Environmental models are playing an increasingly important role in most jurisdictions and giving rise to disputes. Despite this fact, lawyers and policy-makers have overlooked models and not engaged critically with them. This is a problematic state of affairs. Modeling is a semi-autonomous, interdisciplinary activity concerned with developing representations of systems and is used to evaluate regulatory behavior to ensure it is legitimate. Models are thus relevant to lawyers and policy makers but need to be engaged with critically due to technical, institutional, interdisciplinary and evaluative complexities in their operation. Lawyers and policy-makers must thus think more carefully about models and in doing so reflect on the nature of their own disciplines and fields.