March 29, 2021

#1 in Environmental Law - Again

U.S. News ranks Lewis & Clark Law’s environmental law program number one in the nation for 2022. Plus, we have nationally recognized programs in Animal Law, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property, Business Law and Public Interest Law.

Lewis & Clark Law School’s Environmental Law specialty program is number one in the country according to U.S. News and World Report 2022 rankings released today. The Lewis & Clark Law environmental law program has been in the first or second spot in the US News rankings for some 25 years and has been ranked as the #1 program for the past three years.

The law school’s Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Program is the first and leading program of its kind in the nation and is celebrating its next 50 years in developing climate change leaders. The Environmental Law program was founded in 1970, the year of the first Earth Day and the launch of major federal environmental legislation. In addition, the first environmental law review journal, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, a premier legal forum for environmental and natural resources law scholarship, was established by Lewis & Clark in 1969.

Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Law program is renowned for its faculty, and the depth and breadth of its offerings. These include 12 teaching faculty and 10 to 20 adjunct teaching faculty, dozens of courses, three clinics/institutes, numerous legal practica and externship options, two environmental law nonprofits on campus that work with students, two certificate programs and three degrees: a JD, LLM, and MSL for professionals who are not pursuing a JD, plus a joint JD/LLM degree. The LLM and MSL degrees are now offered in both a distance learning format, with classes fully online, as well as the on-campus program.

“We focus on offering our students outstanding learning opportunities, in the classroom and in our clinics and the community, along with exposure to the most important environmental issues facing our planet,” said Associate Dean Janice Weis, who leads the Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law program. Weis also chairs Lewis & Clark’s institution-wide Sustainability Council.

Never content with past accomplishments, Lewis & Clark Law has bolstered its offerings recently with the addition of an online distance-learning option for its popular environmental law MSL degree, making the degree for non-lawyers available to professionals regardless of their location. The school also offers an online LLM degree, which attracts lawyers from around the world.

Last year, the school announced the creation of the Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment, combining its nationally recognized expertise in environmental law and animal law. The Alliance is a champion for wild animals and wild spaces across the globe, working to protect animals and the environment through the development, implementation, and enforcement of international law. Law students (JD and LLM) actively participate in the work through two clinics within the Alliance.

“We are proud of our outstanding environmental law specialty and are gratified to see US News and our peers in legal education acknowledge its excellence and our dedication to providing this in-depth program for students,” said Law School Dean Jennifer Johnson.

The law school’s environmental and climate-related strengths are part of Lewis & Clark’s overall sustainability leadership.

“Local and global action is essential to making progress toward a just and resilient future,” said Lewis & Clark College President Wim Wiewel. “Our law school has long been at the forefront on environmental and natural resources issues. This work is more important than ever as we develop innovative methods to deal with longstanding and emerging climate challenges.”

Joining us in the #1 spot for environmental law are Pace and UC Berkeley. In other specialty rankings, U.S. News ranks Lewis & Clark’s Part-Time Law at #14; and Legal Writing at #21.

About Lewis & Clark Law School

For over 100 years, Lewis & Clark Law School has trained advocates for professional careers in the law. The only law school located in Portland, Oregon, Lewis & Clark is recognized for its expertise in many specialty areas of law as well as its scholarship and practical experiences. The school enrolls approximately 500 students in its part-time and full-time programs, and its LLM degrees attract many international students. The law school is part of the institution of Lewis & Clark College that includes the undergraduate campus and a Graduate School of Education and Counseling. The law school was founded in Portland in 1884 as Oregon’s first law school, privatized in 1915 as Northwestern College of Law, and merged with the Lewis & Clark College in 1965. For more information, visit