How To Enroll


Registration Information: Any student who has finished the first year of law school and has achieved a 2.6 GPA or higher is eligible to take the Earthrise clinic. Students with lower GPAs can contact an Earthrise professor and seek permission to enroll. Any student may initially register as part of a two-step process towards final enrollment. After Spring grades are in, all registrants will go through a compliance check regarding meeting the pre-/co-requisites and minimum GPA requirements. 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. If more than 25 students are registered at the time of the compliance check, then final enrollment preference will be given to rising 3Ls. You will be notified by the end of June about your enrollment status. In addition, after final enrollment, each student will be contacted in order to clear any potential conflicts of interest.

Earthrise prefers a full year commitment (three credits per semester), but students can register for just one semester if they have scheduling conflicts that prevent them 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 

Credits Course Length Prerequisites Clinic Location Work Hours Fulfills Law School Requirements
3 credits One sem Environmental Law and Administrative Law are pre- or co-requisites to taking Earthrise. However, if Administrative Law is not offered in the fall of 2020, we will grant a waiver and allow enrollment in Earthrise, provided that you take Administrative Law in the spring of 2021. We also highly recommend that you take Environmental Litigation before or concurrently with Earthrise.

Wood Hall on the Law School Campus

10-12 hours per week

Class meets on Fridays from noon to 2 pm

Writing Professional Responsibility Other Law School Requirements

6 credits

3 per semester

Two sem

WIE on a case by case basis


Earthrise Ethics meets this requirement.

Highly Specialized Requirement

Experiential Learning requirement

Natural Resources Certificate

Does not count towards the cap on ungraded credits


As an Earthrise student, you will be assisting Earthrise Attorneys who are representing real clients. Therefore, Earthrise must consider ethical conflicts of interest when reviewing student applications. Because of specific ethical requirements, a student cannot be enrolled in Earthrise and at the same time extern or intern with an entity or agency that is adverse to an Earthrise client, creating a concurrent conflict of interest. Earthrise professors will work with you to address your specific situation. We can usually find a way to allow you to both take Earthrise and extern for an agency that Earthrise often sues, just not at the same time.

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’s Solicitors Office even though Earthrise sometimes has cases against the Department of the Interior. That agency can screen you from any specific matter where you may have an actual conflict. 

Things you can’t 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 a local federal judge when you are also enrolled in Earthrise because we have many cases before those judges.