Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Climate March

Lawyers and policymakers play a key role in fostering more equitable and
sustainable societies around the world. At Lewis & Clark, we offer stand-alone courses on both environmental justice and sustainability, and also integrate these issues into our broader environmental curriculum.

Practitioners advance environmental justice by working to ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the process of developing, implementing and enforcing environmental laws, regulations, and policies. They also seek to redress past harms caused by disparate application of these laws and policies, and ensure that the transition to a more sustainable, low carbon future does not leave anyone behind.

Advocates may also work on global environmental justice challenges, including responding to the climate crisis, ensuring equitable access to clean water, and preventing deforestation. Sustainability projects environmental justice into the future, devising ways to meet society’s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Three basic principles guide sustainable decisions: social equity, economic feasibility, and environmental protection.

At Lewis & Clark, students interested in environmental justice and sustainability issues have the following opportunities:


Alumni on the Front Lines

  • Liz Crosson Headshot

    Chief Sustainability, Resiliency & Innovation Officer, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

    Ensuring safe and reliable drinking water for communities throughout southern California is both a public health and an environmental imperative to me. I am inspired by the notion that the immediate climate impacts we face not only present our greatest challenge but also our greatest opportunity to rethink our relationship with nature and reverse historic injustices to people and the planet.

Doing the Work

Engage in real world environmental justice or sustainability issues through our on-campus clinics and institutes:

Earthrise Law Center Global Law Alliance Green Energy Institute