School navigation

Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

Environmental Student Groups

Informed, engaged students are the hallmark of Lewis & Clark’s program. Students are actively engaged in virtually every aspect of the law school, including representation on curriculum, faculty and budget committees. In addition, a large proportion of students are active in student-founded and run environmental and natural resources groups, including:

Coalition Advocating Transportation Sensibilities (CATS), which successfully advocated for a comprehensive shuttle service for law students in neighborhoods surrounding the law school, to reduce carbon emissions from students driving to school. CATS members have worked with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance to draft bike-friendly legislation, and even engaged in litigation in attempts to prevent imprudent campus parking space development. CATS has also instituted numerous programs, including a towel program for bikers and runners, a community orange bike program, and a community bike repair kit.

Environmental Justice Advocates supports and advocates for communities’ efforts toward environmental justice through direct action and the law. EJA partners with and assists local individuals and entities whose communities are disproportionately impacted by (or in danger of being impacted by) environmental degradation.

Environmental Law Caucus, one of the oldest environmental law societies in the country, sponsors events throughout the year designed to remind law students of why they came to Lewis & Clark, with outings into the great outdoors, a vibrant colloquium series, Earth Day celebrations and pub nights and other gatherings throughout the school year.

Northwest Environmental Defense Center, an independent non-profit organization providing legal support to individuals and grassroots organizations with environmental concerns, provides valuable hands-on experience for students seeking to enhance their education in environmental law. Students can participate in four broad areas of emphasis: water, air and toxics, wetlands, and forests and public lands. Current projects include monitoring National Forest timber sales, reviewing storm-water and pollution discharge permit compliance, and watch-dogging governmental agencies.

Public Interest Law Project, which raises funds for summer internship stipends for students working in public interest organizations which otherwise could not afford their help. PILP’s primary goals are two-fold: (1) providing summer stipends for students working in public interest law; and (2) establishing a loan repayment program for graduates choosing to pursue in careers in the public interest profession. In 2001, PILP’s gala auction raised more than $50,000 for the program.

Student Advocates for Business and Environmental Responsibility (SABER), whose mission is to work with land and business owners to accomplish environmental goals. SABER combines business and environmental interests and uses the expertise of students and professionals in these areas to accomplish goals that are both economically achievable and environmentally sustainable. SABER has sponsored a number of conferences and continuing legal education seminars on business-related topics.

Students for International Environmental Law, whose mission is to promote education and collaboration on issues of international environmental law within the community at the local, national, and global levels. SIEL will accomplish these goals by: sharing developments and promoting discussion; hosting international law focused events; coordinating projects both internally and with other groups; facilitating networking opportunities; and sharing information on careers in international environmental law. 

Food and Wine Law Society, whose mission is to develop passion for quality food & wine through thoughtful discussion, research & awareness of the food & wine industry’s legal issues, challenges, business operations, regulations & policies. To achieve these goals, FWLS hosts catered lunch events & wine tastings, with academics, legal & business professionals who are experts in the field of food & wine law, and/or in the agriculture business. These events are catered by & feature local businesses & wineries that are active in promoting ethical, sustainable, & quality food & wine products.