How To Enroll


Registration Information: Any student who has finished the first year of law school, has achieved a 2.6 GPA or higher, meets the pre-/co-requisite requirements (see table below), and clears a conflicts check, is eligible to take the Earthrise clinic. Students with lower GPAs can contact Lia Comerford (comerfordl[at]lclark[dot]edu), and seek permission to enroll.

Students must apply and be accepted before they can enroll in the clinic. Applications will be accepted starting in April of every year and must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to when the law school’s general registration opensEarthrise is no longer accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year. The application deadline was Friday, May 17, 2024, at 5 pm PST. 

TO APPLY: Please submit a cover letter describing your interest in participating in the clinic, a resume or CV, your law school transcript (unofficial is fine), and a conflicts form to earthrise[at]lclark[dot]edu. Please combine all documents into a single PDF before emailing, and include the phrase “Earthrise Clinic Application” in the subject of your email. Do not send hard copies of your application to Earthrise. If you have any questions, please email Lia Comerford at comerfordl[at]lclark[dot]edu.

If a student is selected, they will choose Earthrise Clinic as one of their course selections during the normal registration process. We will strive to notify you of admission decisions no later than one week prior to the start of registration. Students accepted into the clinic should also consider enrolling in the Earthrise ethics course.

All admitted applicants will go through a compliance check regarding meeting the pre-/co-requisites and minimum GPA requirements. If you are admitted to the clinic, you will then enroll for the clinic through WebAdvisor. By registering for this clinic, you are giving permission for the Registrar’s office to provide your cumulative GPA to the Earthrise professors after spring grades are in. Earthrise enrollment will be capped as necessary to align with clinic workload; final enrollment preference will be given to rising 3Ls. After final enrollment, each student will be contacted in order to clear any potential conflicts of interest. Students must also sign a confidentiality agreement before they start working on any Earthrise cases.

Earthrise prefers a full-year commitment (three credits per semester), though students can register for just one semester if they have unavoidable scheduling conflicts that prevent them from registering for both semesters. However, students who only enroll in Earthrise for one semester cannot enroll in Earthrise Ethics, which is a mandatory two-semester course.


Some Earthrise Basics 

Location: In Wood Hall on the Law School Campus








Law School Requirements


One semester

Environmental Law and Administrative Law are pre- or co-requisites to taking Earthrise. We also highly recommend that you take Environmental Litigation before or concurrently with Earthrise.


10-12 hours per week

Class meets on Fridays from 12 pm to 2 pm



Writing Professional Responsibility Other Law School Requirements
6 Two semesters

Does not count towards the cap on ungraded credits.


WIE on a case by case basis


Earthrise Ethics meets this requirement.

 Highly Specialized Requirement

Experiential Learning requirement

Natural Resources Certificate


Because students enrolled in Earthrise are working on real litigation matters for real clients, Earthrise professors must insure that students will protect clients’ confidential information and that students’ prior or concurrent legal work will not create any ethical conflicts of interest. For purposes of screening conflicts, “legal work” includes all legal internships, externships, other clinics, paid or unpaid legal work or work solely for academic credit for lawyers, law firms, or not-for-profit groups or legal services organization, and any volunteer legal work. Because conflicts based on concurrent work are much more difficult to resolve, students may not enroll in Earthrise while they are also working for the U.S. or Oregon Departments of Justice, a U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of the Interior’s Solicitor’s Office, the Bonneville Power Administration, or any federal judge. Other concurrent legal work will need to be evaluated individually for potential conflicts. Conflicts created by past legal work are easier to resolve, but they must also be disclosed and evaluated before you can complete your final enrollment in Earthrise. Generally, your past work for federal and state agencies and federal and state legal offices will not create conflicts that would prevent you from enrolling in Earthrise (but it might require that you be screened from a particular Earthrise matter).

Here are some examples that may help you in planning.

Things you can do:

  • You usually can extern with, or otherwise work for, a local federal judge or an adverse agency before or after you take Earthrise. We can usually work to screen you, even if you have a conflict because of such past or future work.
  • You can likely extern with the U.S. Department of Justice during your second year and still enroll in Earthrise during your third year. You would just need to disclose to us the matters you worked on while at the DOJ and then we can screen you from any matters that involved an Earthrise client.
  • If you took Earthrise during your second year, during your third year you could extern with the Department of the Interior Solicitor’s Office, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or other federal entities, even though Earthrise sometimes has cases against them. That agency can screen you from any specific matter where you may have an actual conflict.

Things you cannot do:

  • During the same semester you cannot both enroll in Earthrise and extern with the U.S. Department of Justice, because that agency is always representing other federal agencies that are currently in litigation against Earthrise clients.
  • You cannot extern for local federal judges when you are also enrolled in Earthrise because we have many cases before those judges.

Understanding past and concurrent conflicts can be tricky, but it is a very important aspect of practicing law. If you have any questions, please contact Lia Comerford (comerfordl[at]lclark[dot]edu), to help determine your eligibility for the clinic and assist you in your course planning.