International Animal and Environmental Law Clinic

International Animal and Environmental Law Clinic - Professor Erica Lyman

  • Course Number: LAW-754
  • Course Type: Highly Specialized & Experiential
  • Credits: Students may take this course as a one-semester option for three credits or a two-semester option for six credits.
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Professor
  • Description: This practical skills course is designed for students who have an interest in practicing international environmental and/or international wildlife law. Students work with Professor Lyman and staff on the ongoing cases and projects of the Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment. The Global Law Alliance’s work always includes a heavy focus on international wildlife law, including both marine and terrestrial wildlife, and sometimes our docket expands to issues of international trade, climate change, forest conservation, and other pressing international matters. Work will range from preparing for meetings relating to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) or the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), to assessing domestic legislation in order to strengthen opportunities to combat wildlife crime, to filing petitions, drafting legal opinions, and engaging in other means of strategic legal intervention in support of the Global Law Alliance’s priorities.

    Regardless of the substantive content of our work, practical skills development will include, among other topics, negotiation in an international context, treaty drafting, and treaty interpretation; legislative assessment and drafting; legal opinion, memoranda, and client letter drafting; development and management of client relationships; oral advocacy in an international context; cultural competency and lobbying; and planning, development, and strategy regarding project/campaign/case development. The specific practical skills honed each semester depend on the Global Law Alliance’s docket, but as a matter of course, students can expect to deepen their research, problem solving, analytical, and writing skills.

    Students are expected to attend and participate in a 2-hour classroom component, meet with a supervising attorney for up to one hour, and work about 8 hours outside of class on average each week on projects/campaigns/cases as assigned. The class meets on Fridays. To get students prepared to engage quickly, class on the first two Fridays of both Fall and Spring semesters will meet for 4 to 5 hours.

    Students must submit an application for admission to this course. The application should include a cover letter expressing interest, a resume, a transcript (Webadvisor is fine), and a writing sample of fewer than 10 pages. Submit your application to Professor Erica Lyman at with “Clinic Application” and your last name in the subject line. 

  • Prerequisite: None, but it is helpful to have taken International Environmental Law or to take it concurrently. Similarly, International Wildlife Law may be helpful.
  • Evaluation Method: Credit/no credit
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: yes