The Yale Environmental Law Clinic is a joint enterprise of Yale Law School and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. It was launched in 1994 by Professor Daniel C. Esty. The Clinic is designed to introduce students to the fields of environmental advocacy and policy-making as well as to the benefits of public interest work, more generally. The centerpiece of the Clinic is hands-on experience with real world projects and client organizations that take students beyond traditional academic research and writing into the world of complex negotiation, political, economic and policy analysis, strategic planning and community service. The seminars cover an array of environmental issues but are primarily designed to introduce students to the wide variety of tools that professional advocates use to achieve their environmental goals.
Students in prior years have worked with:
- A community group in Nicaragua to address issues of chronic renal failure and drinking water pollution believed to be associated with the operations of a nearby sugar plantation
- A national environmental organization to develop legal strategies to challenge the environmentally destructive practice of mountaintop removal in Appalachia
- A stakeholder group in North Carolina to identify economic opportunities associated with policies to promote investment in clean energy
- A conservation and recreation organization to mitigate the environmental impacts of a large-scale residential development in northern Maine through participation in a complex multi-party regulatory proceeding
- A national environmental organization to develop a “green investment scheme” and so-called “programmatic” carbon trading schemes in Russia with a goal of fostering investment in energy efficiency
- A school district to develop strategies to reduce energy consumption and shift to low carbon and renewable energy sources
- Two national environmental groups on litigation challenging the permitting of coal-fired power plants
- A nonprofit group developing a national pollution control law for a developing country
- A local community group strategizing how to phase out a major source of air pollution in New Haven
- A national environmental group on policy and regulatory initiatives to rapidly scale up adoption of energy efficiency and clean distributed energy generation in the United States
We welcome inquires from prospective students and potential client organizations.