Environmental Advocacy Center
Critical environmental issues--clean air and water, cleanup of hazardous waste sites, safe drinking water, energy policy, and climate change--drive the work of Northwestern University School of Law Bluhm Legal Clinic's Environmental Advocacy Center (EAC). The EAC takes on cases and environmental projects that offer unparalleled opportunities for students to practice lawyering and advocacy, and contribute uniquely to environmental problem-solving. By partnering with the Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest, the region's premier environmental advocacy and legal organization, EAC extends its impact as well as opportunities for students.
Students in this Center pursue environmental solutions through a broad range of strategies: litigation, administrative proceedings, legislative and rule-making proceedings, public advocacy, and media. "We are a multi-disciplinary Center," says director Nancy Loeb. "In environmental law, it is rare that one approach will work. Our students learn to think strategically, explore multiple ways to frame a problem, and pursue multiple forms of advocacy to accomplish our goals." Working with attorneys, scientists, economists, and legislative experts, and by participating directly on cases and in a weekly seminar, students learn to assess environmental issues and develop and implement solutions.
The opportunity to tap expertise across Northwestern University is a significant asset. "We enjoy the advantage of access to a wealth of knowledge and abilities," says Loeb. "We've engaged assistance from the Institute of Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, as well as several departments, including engineering and chemistry students, all working toward solutions with us. We have some of the best minds on our team, and students really value and enjoy the cross-discipline interaction."
The Environmental Advocacy Center was founded in 2009, and as it continues to grow, new opportunities emerge to find solutions, to drive change, and to protect the Midwest's natural resources and our region's residents. Looking ahead, the Center is exploring opportunities to extend its reach internationally to address some of the most pressing environmental issues related to climate change, including energy policies, drought and flooding, and adaptation strategies.