Law Schools in the Public Interest: Environmental Law Programs in the Midwest and Mountain States

This is the second in a series of postings about public service by environmental law programs.  This one focuses on the Midwest and Mountain states.  Here is a sample of current activities:

  • An environmental advocacy center that works on clean air and water, clean up of hazardous waste sites, safe drinking water, green technology, climate change, and renewable energy.
  • A clinic that for over thirty years has enabled people who are confronting environmental problems in one of the country’s largest cities to have equal access to environmental justice.
  • The first transnational law clinic, working on issues such as Great Lakes water quality and quantity, invasive species, air quality, renewable energy, and environmental justice.
  • A program to assist environmental and land trust organizations in their efforts to conserve natural resources.
  • Annual national conferences of state and federal government officials, lawyers, and academics on new developments.
  • A joint conference with several scientific organizations on green chemistry.
  • A national renewable energy law and policy summit.

The core missions of law schools are expanding understanding of the legal system through scholarship and educating the next generation of lawyers.  Both of those activities can pay off with benefits to the public.  But as this series of posts will show, law schools also address important societal issues in more immediate ways.  Next time: the West Coast and the Southwest (for lawyers, basically the Ninth Circuit).