Environmental and Climate Justice Clinic

Course Description

The Environmental and Climate Justice Clinic deploys multiple modes of lawyering to (1) address the disproportionate effects of climate change on low-income communities of color; (2) prioritize worker health, dignity, and ownership, particularly for communities that have been historically excluded from the benefits of economic development, and (3) shift economic activity to sustainable production. Students within the Clinic will explore how transactional, litigation and regulatory and policy advocacy strategies can be leveraged in partnership with community groups to build power and create systemic change.

Student attorneys develop and assess the Clinic’s docket, advise clients on navigating legal barriers, draft transactional documents and regulatory comments, engage in strategic research in support of policy campaigns, and develop training to build capacity for frontline communities

Instructor: Camille Pannu, Associate Clinical Professor of Law
Experiential Credits: 7 credits (3 for seminar; 4 for fieldwork)
Available in: Fall 2024 and Spring 2025

Students in the clinic can expect to focus on:

  • Interviewing, investigation, research, and problem definition
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Client counseling and community lawyering
  • Problem definition and analysis of legal and non-legal strategies
  • Project planning and management
  • Written and oral advocacy
  • Legal drafting, particularly in the context of transactions
  • Policy and regulatory advocacy

The Seminar

The seminar is closely integrated with fieldwork and weekly case meetings, establishes a theoretical and substantive framework for students’ advocacy, and provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their professional identities as lawyers and the role of lawyers within community-led social movements. Students assess the principles of the environmental justice movement and apply those principles to develop legal strategies and legal practice skills.


Students will be expected to act as “first chairs” in their cases, responsible for developing and implementing their plan for client counseling and representation. Students have regular case meetings with the clinic director and work with clients and colleagues.

Important Information

The course is limited to eight (8) students and is open to J.D. and LL.M. students. There are no prerequisites. Interested students are encouraged to contact Professor Camille Pannu ([email protected]) to discuss their interest and any questions.