Environmental Advocacy Clinic

As one of the Nation's top-ranked environmental law schools, Vermont Law offers students the chance to apply what they learn in the classroom by working in one of the best environmental law clinics in the country: the Environmental Advocacy Clinic.

OVERVIEW

The Environmental Advocacy Clinic is an in-house clinic that operates as a public interest law office, teaching students how to be lawyers by representing clients in need. Clinical experience helps students become well-rounded, skilled professionals who can develop arguments and claims from the ground up, explore strategies and options, and communicate effectively with clients, courts, agency officials, scientific experts, and opposing parties. This year, the Clinic launched an exciting partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, one of the nation’s largest and most influential conservation organizations, to represent the Federation on its national legal advocacy work.

WHAT WE DO

In the Clinic, students serve as the lead attorney, supervised by an experienced lawyer, representing the National Wildlife Federation, other leading conservation organizations, and local community groups to promote access to justice on important environmental and natural resources issues. We’ve created positive outcomes for clients in a variety of areas including:

  • Preventing major coal development in Montana’s Powder River Basin.
  • Protecting coastal community from oil infrastructure development. Defending a sacred tribal site
  • Protecting Vermont’s waters from stormwater pollution and other threats
  • Safeguarding endangered species
  • Supporting and helping to defend Vermont’s first-in-the-nation labeling law for genetically engineered foods
  • And much more!

OUR MISSION

  • 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.
  • To provide pro bono representation for individuals and organizations who could not otherwise afford legal services.
  • To ensure that laws protecting health, wildlife, and the environment are properly interpreted, implemented, and enforced to protect people and places for the benefit of this and future generations.

WHO WE ARE

The Clinic opened its doors to students and clients in August 2003 as the Environmental and Natural Resources Clinic with a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. Jim Murphy serves as Director in addition to his position as Legal Advocacy Director at the National Wildlife Federation. The faculty of the Environmental Advocacy Clinic, Patrick ParenteauKenneth Rumelt, Rachel Stevens, and Mason Overstreet, along with paralegal Monica Litzelman, have many years of experience in environmental litigation and advocacy.