Student Opportunities

The Environmental Advocacy Center offers students the chance to delve into a broad range of real-world, real-time environmental issues. The program invites students to investigate an array of advocacy techniques. “Solving environmental problems takes lawyers that cannot be defined by particular lawyering skills, “says EAC Director Rob Weinstock. “That’s why our EAC docket is crafted to build students’ skills across a broad range of advocacy techniques. Students draft briefs and participate in depositions to learn litigation skills, of course, but they plan and lead meetings with clients, meet with and write letters to regulators, comment on proposed rules, and digest law and policy with an eye toward creating market conditions to drive better environmental performance. In everything, students learn to center and internalize their clients’ interests and come to understand their role as providing legal perspective and services that fit into a broader strategy to advance their clients’ overall goals.”  

EAC faculty balance student interest and client need in assigning students to projects that will advance their individual learning goals and subject-matter interests.  Regardless of student preference or particular case assignments, the Environmental Advocacy Center prepares them well for a number of different careers. Students particularly value learning the intricacies of developing legal strategies to effect change in a variety of complex situations that are difficult to capture in a classroom setting. Students gain hands-on practice, the opportunity to see an issue move through a process, and the ability to be directly involved in driving real change. 

Related Coursework

Students convene for a weekly seminar session with their EAC colleagues, faculty, clients, and guest presenters drawn from leaders in environmental and energy law. EAC classroom sessions are tailored to bridge students’ individual experiences on projects with doctrinal topics in environmental and energy law, as well as with important skills-based and professional responsibility lessons drawn directly from EAC project needs and developments. 

Prerequisite classes are not required for participation in the Environmental Advocacy Center, however, it is recommended that students take (or have taken) Environmental Law and/or Natural Resources. Other helpful classes include Energy Law and Administrative Law. 

Learn more about coursework and other Environmental Law opportunities. 

Student Reflections on Their EAC Experience

  • “Part of what drew me to law school was remembering that lawyers are advocates. Of all the lawyer synonyms – attorney, barrister, counselor – advocate is my favorite. It evokes the role I want. It evokes the work I want. But it took meeting the clients to feel like an advocate and not just a lawyer.”
  • “The second half of the semester with the Environmental Advocacy Center was a challenging, unexpected, and awesome experience. My work with [the client] was some of the most difficult legal work that I have done, and I learned valuable lessons through the process of producing a final written product…In addition, I had the privilege of attending the COP26 Global Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, which was an unexpected benefit of being part of the clinic that was unlike any other experience that I have had in law school so far.”
  • “It’s one thing to read a fact pattern on paper, but it’s another thing entirely to hear someone’s testimony about the impacts that these projects have on their lives.” 
  • “Working with [my EAC client] has provided me with the opportunity to engage in work that motivated me to go to law school – supporting underrepresented communities and providing a voice against environmental action that would [be a] detriment to these communities.” 
  • “[T]he Clinic has provided me with a space that feels safe and has helped me tremendously in clarifying my sense of self as a professional, which has been really gratifying on a personal level and has impacted the way I understand what ‘success’ means to me.”