Environmental Clinic

Environmental Law Clinic

Available to:  2nd and 3rd year students

The Environmental Clinic involves placement in a public or public interest law office to observe and work on environmental or natural resource issues while participating in a class to learn key environmental practice skills and to reflect upon the experience and observations.  Although the substantive focus is on environmental and natural resource 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 2-3 hours of credit.

Students who wish to participate in an Environmental Clinic placement in Fall and/or Spring, must enroll in the Environmental Practice course in Fall 2015 (or have previously completed the Environmental Practice course.)

Pre- or Co-Requisites: ONE of Administrative Law, Environmental Law, or Natural Resource Law

Course: Environmental Practice (2 cr., graded, Fall). 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 (P/F; Fall and/or Spring): Students can enroll for 2-3 credits. Placements may include:

  • Western Resource Advocates – a non-profit environmental law and policy organization with offices in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada, working on issues involving water, energy and public land policy in the region.
  • Solicitors’ Office of the Department of the Interior Students will work with attorneys in the Solicitor’s Office on public land and natural resource law on behalf of various entities within the Department of the Interior (including potentially the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and National Park Service). (Subject to individual acceptance by the Solicitor’s office.)
  • Southern Utah Wilderness AllianceSUWA is a non-partisan, non-profit organization working full time to defend Utah’s redrock wilderness.
  • Environmental Dispute Resolution ProgramEDRP provides students with essential negotiation and conflict management skills, as well as opportunities to practice environmental dispute resolution and collaborative problem-solving techniques.  The clinic student in 2015 participated in mediations with the Green River grazing dispute.
  • Utah Clean Energya non-profit organization whose mission is to lead and accelerate the clean energy transformation. Internship duties include legal research and writing regarding: 1) state and federal legal issues pertinent to electric utility regulation, renewable energy and climate change; and 2) local wind ordinances in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.
  • Other placements may be arranged on an individual basis.

Faculty: Professors TBA

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: Wed. 5:15 – 7:15 p.m.

LAW 7261-001: Environmental Clinic          Fall & Spring: (2–3 credits each)

Additional work in certain placements WILL APPLY to the Pro Bono Initiative certificate.

Placement and Course qualify for credit toward the Environmental Law Certificate.