Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic
About This Class
The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic functions as a public interest environmental law firm with a collegial atmosphere that encourages interaction and feedback among students and Clinic faculty. Under the supervision of experienced environmental attorneys, student clinicians represent community groups and conservation organizations in real-world cases and projects. Although the Clinic experience varies from student to student depending on the cases and projects assigned, the range of typical experiences includes: communicating with clients, experts, agency personnel, and opposing parties; conducting site visits; investigating scientific, technical, and other factual information; gathering public records using FOIA and state public record laws; engaging in specialized legal research; drafting and filing court briefs and pleadings in compliance with local court rules; conducting written and oral discovery; analyzing complex legal and factual materials; developing legal theories, claims, and arguments; engaging in strategic decision-making; negotiating with opposing parties and crafting settlement agreements; complying with ethical and professional standards; and, sometimes, appearing in court. The goal of the clinical experience is to develop well-rounded professionals with a high degree of skill and judgment grounded in service to clients and respect for the environment and the rule of law.
Classroom Component and Clinic Hours: Required classes two days/week—one hour fifteen minutes each class. Generally each week, one class is Case Review and one class is Seminar. Students who enroll in the Clinic may not enroll in courses that conflict with the required two/days a week ENRLC classes. A student’s schedule for the student’s other Clinic hours will be determined by the individual student in consultation with clinical faculty at the beginning of the semester.
Legal Profession is strongly recommended, but not required, for students enrolling in any Clinic term. In addition, during the selection process, priority may be given to students who have successfully completed Environmental Law (or another substantive environmental law course).
Registration: The ENRLC follows the common application process for clinics. Notices are sent to the student body near the beginning of each semester about the common application process; this information is also available on the ENRLC’s website. Recruitment for the Fall semester occurs in the spring. Recruitment for the Spring semester occurs in the fall. Recruitment for the Summer term occurs in the fall and, if there are remaining slots, again in the spring. The Clinic conducts interviews with interested applicants. If a student is selected for the ENRLC by clinical faculty, the ENRLC will provide the Registrar’s Office with a list of all accepted applicants and the Registrar will register them for the course. Because of the full-time nature of the 13-credit option, students taking the ENRLC for 13 credits may not register for another course without the express consent of the Director of the Clinic. Summer term: the Summer term is full-time for all students regardless of credit status, and students may select 0, 6, or 9 credits.