Oceans and Rivers

Polluted ocean.

The world’s oceans contain complex and dynamic ecosystems and raise issues of domestic and international law. Lawyers and policymakers interested in ocean and marine issues can work in a number of areas including coastal development and beach access, marine reserves and conservation of imperiled ocean species, regulation of plastics pollution, wave energy development, and issues that arise in international waters.

Water law involves issues such as who has rights to use or consume the water, instream flows for fish and wildlife purposes, the relationship of groundwater and surface water, and water transfers.


Alumni on the Front Lines

  • Profile photo. Sarah Liljefelt

    Attorney at Dunn Carney LLP

    Water is the most fundamental and essential resource on Earth, and Lewis & Clark Law School provided the legal education to pursue my passion of representing water users throughout the West.

  • Janis Searles Jones

    CEO, Ocean Conservancy

    The ocean makes life on earth possible, but there is too much going into the ocean (CO2, plastics) and too much coming out (marine life, habitat). I am inspired every day to chart a better future for the ocean.

Doing the Work

Engage in real world ocean work through our on-campus clinics and institutes:

Earthrise Law Center     Global Law Alliance      Green Energy Institute