Give to the Environmental Law Program of Your Choice, But Give!

Environmental law programs are worthy of your support because of their unique blend of teaching, research, and public service.  They educate future environmental leaders, generate new solutions to environmental problems, and engage with policy makers, courts, and the public.

To begin with, environmental law programs train the lawyers who will represent governments, businesses, and public interest groups with regard to environment and energy issues.  This isn’t just a matter of litigation; it’s also a matter of creative problem solving to achieve compliance with environmental goals. Many of those students will eventually become business leaders or policy makers in legislatures or agencies, or sit on courts that decide environmental cases.

Environmental law professors are also in the forefront of research about key environmental and energy issues.  A sample might include issues like: (1) when does an environmental regulation become a “taking” of property that requires compensation?, (2) how can regulations of air pollution be improved?, (3) what legal rules should apply to nanotechnology?, and (4) how can we best provide incentives to develop renewable energy sources?

Environmental law programs are also heavily involved in public service.  Here is a sample of activities that I plucked from the websites of schools across the country:

  • Representing an environmental justice community in a challenge to an air permit for a new power plant.
  • Analyzing proposed greenhouse gas trading regulations to assess the risks of market manipulation and rules violations.
  • Helping advocacy organizations use cost-benefit analysis and economics to address issues like toxic substance storage and climate change.
  • Providing guidance to state and local governments on their ability to regulate in the areas of environment and energy without running afoul of the federal preemption doctrine.
  • Working with businesses, state government, and other stakeholders to eliminate legal obstacles to renewable energy.

In short, a gift to an environmental law program allows you to educate environmental leaders of the future, support cutting-edge research, and promote hands-on improvements in public policy.  If you’re a lawyer, it can also help support dear old alma mater.

In short, a generous donation to an environmental law program is the perfect way to end the year.  You’ll be glad you did it!

Reader Comments

6 Replies to “Give to the Environmental Law Program of Your Choice, But Give!”

  1. I realize this isn’t directly related to your post (and I’m an undergrad who doesn’t have any money to donate), but why does Berkeley Law not operate an environmental law clinic? I know the school coordinates environmental field placements, but it seems strange to me that Berkeley doesn’t have an in-house/school clinic given its prominence in environmental legal education.

  2. I realize this isn’t directly related to your post (and I’m an undergrad who doesn’t have any money to donate), but why does Berkeley Law not operate an environmental law clinic? I know the school coordinates environmental field placements, but it seems strange to me that Berkeley doesn’t have an in-house/school clinic given its prominence in environmental legal education.

  3. Luke — Besides the field placements that you mention, Berkeley has some other practice experiences that might be called clinics at other schools: a faculty-supervised project on environmental justice in the Central Valley, a workshop in which students develop and file comments in administrative proceedings, and a practicum in which students work on projects with government agencies and non-profits. It would be great to add an in-house clinic to this, and we’ve developed some ideas for work relating to toxic air pollutants and drinking water safety. But –getting back to the theme of my post — the big challenge for in-house clinic is funding.

  4. Luke — Besides the field placements that you mention, Berkeley has some other practice experiences that might be called clinics at other schools: a faculty-supervised project on environmental justice in the Central Valley, a workshop in which students develop and file comments in administrative proceedings, and a practicum in which students work on projects with government agencies and non-profits. It would be great to add an in-house clinic to this, and we’ve developed some ideas for work relating to toxic air pollutants and drinking water safety. But –getting back to the theme of my post — the big challenge for in-house clinic is funding.

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About Dan

Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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