Environmental Protection Clinic: Practice at the Intersection of Civil Rights and Environmental Law: Seminar (30187) and Fieldwork (30232). 4 units (2 units for the seminar, 2 units for fieldwork). Students will have the opportunity to continue building Yale Law School’s new environmental justice clinic, which will be in its third semester, and to develop a docket to challenge racial and economic inequality in the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. In the wake of a national conversation about the water crisis in Flint and lead poisoning across the country, as well as a rollback of environmental protections at the national level, students are in on the ground floor as the clinic takes on cases to address inequality in the distribution of health hazards as well as procedural inequities they face as they try to assert their own vision for the future of their neighborhoods, towns and cities. The EJ Clinic’s work will include cases and advocacy projects to enforce civil rights in the environmental context, and, in the new political climate, work with clients to develop legal and advocacy strategies to address issues of environmental injustice in particular communities.
Students will work in teams under faculty supervision and take responsibility for litigation and advocacy. Their activities will include the following:
• Working directly with clients, co-counsel, opposing counsel, allies, environmental agencies, and EPA;
• Developing case records by conducting factual investigation and working with experts;
• Legal analysis, memos, pleadings and drafting other legal documents (such as public disclosure requests, comments on state and federal rules, etc.);
• Representation of clients;
• Negotiations and settlement;
• Building the Clinic's intake and referral system, communications capacity, and outreach effort.
In addition to civil rights compliance and enforcement in the environmental context, the Clinic will evaluate potential litigation and advocacy to address the sources and impacts of air and water contamination in disproportionately affected communities, with a focus on communities in Connecticut.
Students will also participate in a seminar intended to explore issues raised by the clinical practice, including both substantive issues of environmental and civil rights law, as well as questions related to practice, including ethical and social dimensions of lawyering in this context. The seminar will meet approximately two hours per week. In addition to class meetings and preparation, clinic participants must complete and document approximately fifteen hours of clinical work per week. Students will also be expected to participate in two weekly one-half-hour team meetings. While there is no prerequisite for the clinic, participants should have a strong interest in social justice and, particularly, working on behalf of environmentally overburdened communities — often communities of color and low-income communities. Enrollment limited. Permission of the instructor required. Also F&ES 974a. M.E. Lado.
Course Bidding: In addition to listing this clinic among experiential course selections, Law students should submit a CV and a short statement expressing interest in the clinic, which will focus on environmental issues affecting communities of color and low-income communities and, particularly, civil rights enforcement in the environmental context, by uploading to the bidding system by December 7 at 4:30 p.m. The statement should be no more than one page in length. Law students should upload these materials to the bidding system; they may also email the materials directly to Professor Lado at firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-Law students interested in the clinic should send a CV and one-page statement of interest to email@example.com
Note: First-day attendance is required unless permission for absence is granted by the instructor in advance of the first meeting.