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Law Courses Catalog

Environmental Clinic I: Earthrise

  • Year-Long Class

Students work on actual environmental cases and administrative issues under the supervision of the clinical professors of the Earthrise Law Center, the law school’s environmental litigation clinic. The clinic represents a broad spectrum of environmental organizations seeking to prevent or reduce pollution and protect wildlife, habitat, and ecosystems. 

Each week, students are expected to attend and participate in a 2-hour classroom component, meet with a supervising attorney, as well as work 10 hours outside of class on average each week on cases as assigned. Grading is currently on a pass/no pass basis, but Earthrise may adopt the grading system currently used for externships. Class attendance is mandatory. Depending on the work in the clinic, there is a possibility that a WIE paper can be completed. Prior professor permission and consent is needed. See professor for more information. Students who enroll in Earthrise also are eligible to take Earthrise Ethics, a two-semester, one credit per semester course that satisfies the Professional Responsibility graduation requirement.

Students enrolling in Earthrise must have taken Environmental Law and Administrative Law or be enrolled in those courses concurrently with their Earthrise enrollment. Although not a mandatory prerequisite, Earthrise professors strongly encourage students to take Environmental Litigation before they enroll in Earthrise or concurrently. 

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. 

Enrollment is limited to 25 students. However, 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.