The Environmental/Administrative Law Clinic (“Environmental Clinic”) helps prepare students for a career in any complex statutory and administrative practice by providing an opportunity to work side-by-side with practicing attorneys on active environmental or natural resource cases. Although the clinic’s substantive focus is on environmental issues, this clinic would be valuable to any student who hopes to engage in a complex administrative or regulatory practice. Clinic may be taken for two or three hours of credit.
The Environmental Clinic is a quasi-in-house, public interest clinic in which students work on live, primarily local, cases or projects in cooperation with practicing attorneys and supervised by College of Law faculty. Each student is assigned a case or a sub-issue in an active, unique, large-scale project or case. Most projects require extensive writing and mastery of complicated factual and legal issues. Weekly “rounds” meetings provide opportunities for students to think strategically and develop their ability to lead and participate in strategic discussions with other lawyers. Over the course of the year, students may attend or assist with motions practice, discovery, administrative judicial or legislative proceedings, client meetings, and meetings with experts. Due to the complexity and responsibility associated with each project, participating students are strongly encouraged to commit to participate for both fall and spring semesters.
Associated with the Environmental Clinic, a limited number of individual placements are also available at the Department of Interior Solicitor’s Office, the Environmental Dispute Resolution Program, or with other appropriate outside supervisors with special approval.
Pre- or co-requisites: Environmental Law, Administrative Law, or Natural Resources Law; and Environmental Practice.
Course: Environmental Practice (3 cr., graded, Year-long). This course focuses on the practical, procedural and strategic aspects of practicing environmental and natural resources law through readings and simulated exercises. The course uses exercises designed around environmental statutes, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Community Right-to-Know Act, and CERCLA, to build and develop necessary practice skills. Exercises might include client counseling, witness interviewing, drafting administrative and citizen suit complaints, settlement negotiations and rulemaking practice. Note: This course is not a substitute for the substantive survey courses in environmental law or natural resources law. Registration is not limited to Environmental Clinic students, but preference is given to clinic students if space is limited.
Placements: (2 or 3 cr., P/F, Fall and Spring) Students work with practicing attorneys on live-client cases or projects addressing regional issues involving water, energy, and public land policy. Additionally, supervision by College of Law faculty helps students develop superior writing skills. Regular meetings involve feedback, reflection, and strategic thinking. Depending on availability, students who apply may be placed with the Solicitors’ Office of the Department of the Interior. Other placements may be arranged on an individual basis.
Faculty: Professor Jamie Pleune
Registration & Placement: This clinic is limited. Students may enroll in the course online. To enroll in the clinic, students must complete the Clinical Program Application Form and submit it with a short statement of interest/prior experience.
LAW 7260-001: Environmental Practice Fall- Spring: (3 credits total) Thursday 7:40 – 9:05 am
LAW 7261-001: Environmental Clinic (In- House) Fall & Spring: (2-3 cr. each) Thursdays 9:10 – 10:10 am
Additional work in certain placements will apply to the Pro Bono Initiative certificate.
Placement and Course qualify for credit toward the Environmental Law Certificate