HLS 8008: Environmental Law and Policy Clinic

Most clinical work is done on campus; some placements are available at externship locations (government agencies and nonprofits). Students are carefully matched to their projects/placements by the Clinic Director approximately 4 weeks in advance of the semester. Certain projects and placements have a longer lead time. The Clinic Director speaks with each enrolled student to determine the appropriate project or placement.

This clinic is available for 4 or 5 clinical credits, plus 1 credit for the required class component. Students wishing to take the clinic for 3 clinical credits must apply to the Clinic Director to receive an exception and waiver; students approved to take the clinic for 3 clinical credits will still be required to take the 1 credit class component.

The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic (ELPC) offers students an opportunity to do hands-on, meaningful, real-life, and real-time environmental/energy regulatory, policy and advocacy work. Clinic offerings include local, national, and international projects covering the spectrum of environmental, energy and administrative law issues, under the leadership of Director and Clinical Professor Wendy Jacobs. Clinic students work on policy projects and white papers, regulatory and statutory drafting and comments, manuals and guidance to help non-lawyers identify and protect their rights, litigation and advocacy work, including developing case strategies, research and drafting briefs (filed in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court), preparing witnesses and their testimony, meeting with clients and attending and presenting at administrative and court hearings. Our clients include state and municipal governments, non-governmental organizations, advocacy and community groups, and research and policy institutions. The subject matter varies each semester, but often includes climate change mitigation and adaptation, offshore drilling and water protection, sustainable agriculture/aquaculture, ethics in the study of human exposure to environmental contaminants, development of legal frameworks for emerging technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing, "green" infrastructure for management of storm water, and aiding environmental protection and advocacy groups to identify opportunities and strategies for participating in the review and permitting processes for significant energy infrastructure projects.


Wendy Jacobs






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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2019-2020 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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