Wayne State University Law School is launching a new Environmental Law Clinic in partnership with the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. Students started work this summer, and the clinic will be open for enrollment beginning this fall. I’ll be co-teaching the clinic with Nick Schroeck, a former fellow with the Great Lakes Commission who currently works with the National Wildlife Federation and is a Great Lakes Environmental Law Center board member. Nick is also my former student and recently taught a course on U.S.-Canadian environmental policy at Wayne State. I’m personally grateful that Wayne State University and the Law School have supported this new initiative and have brought Nick on board to help.
The Environmental Law Clinic will teach students the skills and strategies needed to affect environmental policy in state and federal government. Students will participate in the lawmaking process by preparing policy papers and formal legislative testimony, commenting on rulemaking and permit decisions, and engaging in judicial review and enforcement litigation. In all clinical projects, students will work with the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center and may represent other community organizations and public interest groups.
The Environmental Law Clinic will prepare students for their future legal and environmental advocacy work while serving a huge unmet need in Michigan. The Environmental Law Clinic will be a resource for citizens, community organizations, and government leaders working towards environmental protection. It will give Wayne Law students the opportunity to play a critical role in solving our region's most pressing environmental problems. Priorities and focus areas will be protecting the Great Lakes and freshwater, transitioning to clean energy and curbing global warming emissions, assisting communities in achieving environmental justice, and ensuring good public process and openness in government decisions.
Judging from the media coverage, there is a great deal of excitement about the new Environmental Law Clinic. The Detroit Legal News ran a great front-page story on the Environmental Law Clinic last week. Model D, an exciting weekly e-zine, also had nice coverage. Most importantly, the students are already making a difference by helping citizens and public interest organizations protect their communities and the Great Lakes.