Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic

As the Nation's top-ranked environmental law school, 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 and Natural Resources Law Clinic.

OVERVIEW

The Environmental and Natural Resources Law 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.

What do we do?

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

  • Winning a major victory for the endangered gray wolf
  • Supporting and helping to defend Vermont’s first-in-the-nation labeling law for genetically engineered foods
  • Standing up for individuals threatened by the mining operations of a major, multi-national company
  • Defending a sacred tribal site
  • Protecting Vermont’s waters from stormwater pollution and other threats
  • And much more!

What is 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 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.

Who are we?

The Clinic opened its doors to students and clients in August 2003 with a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. The faculty of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Professors Jill Witkowski Heaps, Patrick ParenteauKenneth Rumelt, and Rachel Stevens, along with LLM Fellows Lizzie Tisher and Mason Overstreet and paralegal Monica Litzelman, have many years of experience in environmental litigation and advocacy. Their passion for protecting environmental and human health and conserving natural resources is contagious.