Environmental Justice

Berkeley Law is home to a thriving community of students and scholars focused on environmental justice. We provide opportunities for engagement through classroom and community-based learning during each year of law school.

Course Offerings

Environmental Justice
Taught each fall, Environmental Justice is a foundational course that introduces students to environmental justice as a social movement and explores the civil rights dimensions of environmental safety and natural resources issues. The class emphasizes case studies from rural and urban communities, and it introduces students to the methodology of community-based lawyering.

Environmental Justice Practice Project
This seminar introduces students to the unique challenges for rural communities in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Students work with one of the nation’s largest legal aid organizations, California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), on legal research, writing, education, and advocacy projects in low-income communities located outside the borders of an incorporated city.

Student Organizing

Students for Economic and Environmental Justice (SEEJ)
SEEJ is a clearinghouse for students pursuing careers in environmental justice and plays a central role in advocating for and organizing EJ activities, including community-based partnerships, symposium and events, and research and curricular opportunities at the law school.

Clinical Offerings and Community Engagement

Green-Collar Communities Clinic (GC3)- East Bay Community Law Center
GC3 is the first legal clinic in the country focused on delivering legal services to low-income workers and entrepreneurs of color to create sustainable, worker-owned or community-based businesses. GC3’s mission is to promote the growth of an environmentally just economy in the East Bay through incubation of worker-owned businesses.

Environmental Justice Workshop (EJW)
This student-initiated legal clinic provides an opportunity for first-year law students to work in teams with second- and third-year students to provide pro bono legal assistance to local grassroots environmental justice and international watchdog organizations. Current partners include Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), and the Accountability Counsel. For more information, see http://www.law.berkeley.edu/10640.htm

Conferences

Environmental Justice Symposium
Each spring, SEEJ works with partners to produce a week-long series of events focusing on a specific area of environmental justice. The symposium brings key leaders in the movement to campus to speak and strategize with students. The 2012 Symposium focused on environmental justice in rural America.