Natural Resources Litigation/WRLC: Practicum

Natural Resources Litigation/WRLC: Practicum - Professor Caroline Lobdell

  • Course Type: Highly Specialized & Experiential
  • Credits: 4
  • Enrollment Limit: 3-5
  • Description: The Western Resources Legal Center (WRLC) is currently the nation’s only environmental law center specializing in natural resource users and related issues. The WRLC practicum provides students with a unique opportunity to work with clients in resource development businesses, including timber, forestry, mining, and agriculture. The type and nature of the work depends upon current clients of WRLC. In past semesters, our students gained legal experience by working with WRLC in matters such as: preparation of a US Supreme Court amicus brief, preparation of comments to government agencies, conducting client interviews, participating in federal hearings, drafting pleadings, motions, appeals, client communications and agreements; and obtaining hands on experience with other community practitioners and industry leaders.

    This practicum offers students placements working directly on WRLC cases under the supervision of WRLC attorneys. Students working directly with WRLC are required to attend and participate in a weekly two-hour class lecture covering general legal skills, an overview of relevant substantive law, and discussion of cases in progress. 

    Students are required to complete at least one substantial writing requirement, such as work on a brief, or a memo to a client. In most cases, the writing requirement can fulfill the WIE writing requirement. To successfully earn academic credit, students are expected to spend approximately 9-10 hours per week working on WRLC matters to the satisfaction of the supervising attorney. Students do not complete the 9-10 hours a week at the WRLC office. Rather, students may work independently on assigned class work.

    A student must have permission to register for this practicum. To apply, submit a resume, letter of interest, an unofficial transcript and a writing sample by email or mail. Include your name, contact information, year in law school, which semester(s) you are applying for, and reasons for your interest in working with WRLC.

    The application deadline for either semester is mid-April. Given the limitation of class size, early applications are encouraged. Primary considerations are level of interest and year in law school. Late applications may be considered based upon availability.

    Email applications should be sent to Lisa Arth, using the subject line: “Application: WRLC Practicum.” Hard copy applications may be delivered to WRLC at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Room 118 of the Legal Research Center.

    Students interested in completing an externship with a WRLC-facilitated placement in law firms and/or natural resources organizations should contact Career Services to apply for an externship. You may also contact the executive director of WRLC, Caroline Lobdell by email at or by phone (503-768-8500). She will assist in finding placements.

    For more information,please visit

    Students will not be compensated for work performed in connection with a WRLC-facilitated externship.

  • Co- or Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Written work completed in the clinic
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: Optional; requires prior professor permission