Earthrise Law Center’s Mission

Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark Law School protects and preserves the environment by providing expert, low- or no-cost legal services for conservation groups and by training and educating highly talented law students through direct involvement in cases. Earthrise secures significant environmental victories by tenaciously pursuing litigation and using other legal tools to establish positive legal precedent.


Founded in 1996, Earthrise Law Center (Earthrise) is the environmental legal clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School. At Earthrise, we are passionate about using the law to protect and restore the environment and about training law students to become skilled environmental advocates.

Earthrise provides low or no cost legal services for nonprofit conservation organizations. Our clients range from small grassroots groups – Neighbors for Clean Air, for example – to large national groups such as the Sierra Club. Our clients rely on our services as a key legal tool to help secure needed environmental protections, both due to the quality of our legal representation and because there are few nonprofit, pro bono law firms nationwide.

Formerly known as the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (PEAC), Earthrise adopted its new name in September 2012 to better reflect the center’s growth and national outlook. With a staff of nine, Earthrise is headquartered at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, and has one additional office in Massachusetts. Earthrise is the only national environmental law clinic with offices on both coasts and cases in more than 10 states. Our combination of national-level legal work and real-world education is a proven, positive force for environmental protection and preservation.


Student Involvement

Earthrise helps shape effective legal professionals by providing hands-on opportunities for environmental advocacy. Students play a vital role at Earthrise by participating in all phases of the litigation process, including drafting motions and pleadings, formulating arguments and strategy, and contributing to discussions with clients and opposing parties. Through this work, students gain real-world experience in public interest environmental law.


Our Name

The triangle in our name is the ancient alchemical symbol for Earth. The first image ever recorded of Earth from space is called “Earthrise.” Shot in 1968 from Apollo 8, this photograph of the planet rising from behind the lunar horizon shaped the course of the environmental movement, by revealing Earth as the fragile and finite planet that it is, a home in need of care and worthy of protecting. In Carl Sagan’s words, “the Earth is where we take our stand.” At Earthrise, we make those ideals a reality through our teaching and advocacy.

Header photo source: NASA.