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Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic
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Skip Navigation LinksHome > Clinical Programs > Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic

I would certainly recommend the clinic to any student interested in environmental law, and at any stage of law school. ...I learned quite a bit of substantive law during the term and felt that my clinic experience was that of a real contributor to the overall process of shaping the National Wildlife Federation's direction, strategy, and approach to the cases I worked on.
– Emerson Hilton, '12

Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic

The Environmental Law & Sustainability Clinic, directed by Professor Oday Salim, provides a stellar opportunity for students to learn how to practice environmental and related areas of law. Founded in 1983, the Clinic regularly represents the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), its state affiliates, and other similar organizations. The focus is on water and wildlife resources, public lands, energy, and human health in the Great Lakes watershed.

Students work on a wide variety of legal topics that include:

  • pollution control
  • environmental justice
  • natural resource management
  • constitutional protections of health and environment
  • land use & zoning
  • common law torts
  • administrative law

No matter the level of interest in an environmental law career, students will develop skills and areas of knowledge that can be applied to a broad range of fields. The diverse caseload allows students to participate in all aspects of trial & appellate litigation, submit comments on proposed rules & permits, author opinion letters that support policy-making, deliver live presentations, publish blog posts, evaluate and draft proposed legislation, and contribute to op-eds and press releases.

The issues the Clinic has worked on recently include nutrient pollution & algal bloom impacts; invasive species from ballast water discharges; oil spills; water withdrawals & diversions; the impacts of PFAS and lead on wildlife health; and drinking water infrastructure. Because the Great Lakes watershed includes Canadian provinces, the Clinic also works on international issues such as transboundary pollution and shared water resource management.

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