As the top-ranked environmental law school in the nation, Vermont Law offers students the chance to hone what they learn in the classroom by working in one of the best environmental legal clinics in the country: the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC).
The ENRLC is an in-house clinic that operates as a public interest law office. Clinical experience helps students become well-rounded, skilled professionals who can develop arguments and claims from the ground up, explore strategies and options, and develop effective communication with clients, courts, agency officials, scientific experts, and opposing parties.
During their semester in the ENRLC, students work directly with leading conservation organizations throughout the country and with local community groups—promoting access to justice for those who would not otherwise be able to obtain legal representation. The clinic's powerful and effective advocacy has raised visibility of environmental issues, including winning a major victory for the endangered gray wolf; protecting wetlands and tributaries; standing up for the health of individuals threatened by the mining operations of a major, multi-national company; and defending a sacred tribal site.
In all of its work, the ENRLC aims to meet three goals:
First, to provide a high-quality, skills-based educational experience for law students who learn how to become competent, ethical attorneys with expertise in the field of environmental and natural resources law.
In addition, we aim to provide
pro bono representation for individuals and organizations who could not otherwise afford legal services.
Finally, we work to ensure that laws protecting health and the environment are properly interpreted, implemented, and enforced to prevent and abate environmental problems, and to conserve and restore natural resources for the benefit of this and future generations.
The ENRLC opened its doors to students and clients in August 2003 with a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. Since then, it has focused its work on a range of environmental issues in four program areas:
- Healthy Communities
- Coal & Climate
The faculty of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Professors
Kenneth Rumelt, and
Christopher Ahlers, have many years of experience in environmental litigation and advocacy. Their passion for protecting human health and conserving natural resources is contagious.