Clean Energy Leaders In Law

Clean Energy Leaders in Law (CELL) seeks to accelerate an equitable transition to renewable energy by providing legal services to marginalized communities seeking access to and ownership of clean power. This work is critical, as low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have been disproportionately overburdened by the effects of climate change and often lack access to renewable energy alternatives, such as residential solar. Through the establishment of complex special-purpose legal entities, law students and legal service organizations can improve access to community-owned renewable energy projects.

Students in CELL will engage in some of the below projects: 

  • Legal and policy memoranda, possibly some white papers:
    • Researching and analyzing proposed and enacted federal/state/local legislation and regulations relating to renewable energy equity and their interactions with other programs;
    • Proposing and justifying policy recommendations to increase equity and justice in the renewable energy transition; 
    • Reviewing and responding to filings by utilities and other advocates in regulatory proceedings; 
    • Legal writing and storytelling to demonstrate the impact of policy choices on real families; 
    • Researching and building new partnerships to expand reach with local community-based organizations; 
    • Researching and analyzing the policy frameworks around distributed solar compensation rates, community solar, and workforce development; 
    • Assisting with tribal land energy development projects; and 
    • Helping build innovative models to promote local ownership/control and energy democracy. 
  •     Potentially providing some transactional support for larger projects on an ad hoc basis
  •     Potential opportunities for outreach and community education by drafting guides, giving presentations, and “translating” policies into widely understandable materials

Supervision: Students will receive training and be supervised by attorneys at GRID Alternatives & Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP.

Time Commitment: 20-30 hours per semester

For more information, please contact the student leaders at cleanenergyleadersinlaw@berkeley.edu.