Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC) @ Boalt
The Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative at Boalt connects law students to opportunities in the energy field, both across Berkeley campus and in the professional sphere. BERC@Boalt hosts several events each semester with practicing energy attorneys, including the Spring Energy Law Mixer, and maintains an Energy Law Career Guide for members. BERC@Boalt is the law school chapter of the campus-wide Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative, a multidisciplinary network of graduate, professional and undergraduate students, alumni, faculty, industry professionals, and advisors. “Big BERC” hosts a nationally-recognized annual Energy Symposium and offers programs where students can get hands-on experience working with cleantech entrepreneurs and the energy business world.
Boalt Sustainability Team
The Boalt Sustainability Team strives to help students, staff, faculty, and all the law school’s visitors divert waste from landfills and empower the law school community to reduce our impact on ecosystems and communities. The Team is a collaborative project of student organizations at Berkeley Law determined to bring attention to the law school’s environmental impact. Last year, the Team helped lead an effort to bring composting to Boalt Hall. This year, we will focus on reducing waste at law school events, greening waste streams, and continuing to support the new composting system.
Ecology Law Quarterly (ELQ)
Established in 1971, Ecology Law Quarterly is among the oldest and most prestigious journals publishing environmental law scholarship. Publishing four issues a year, ELQ provides a forum for preeminent scholarship on groundbreaking environmental law topics, including renewable energy, environmental justice, and international environmental law. In 2008, ELQ launched Ecology Law Currents, an online companion journal designed to publish pieces on a more frequent basis than the print journal.
Staffed by Berkeley Law students, ELQ is a community of dedicated and like-minded individuals. True to our environmental roots, the ELQ staff embarks on two outdoor adventures each year: Yosemite in the fall, Tahoe in the spring. In addition, ELQ strives to support the student body through writing awards, public interest summer fellowships, and a diversity scholarship.
Environmental Law Society (ELS)
The Boalt Hall Environmental Law Society promotes public interest environmental law, engaging students through a variety of projects. ELS generates dialogue within the student community at Berkeley Law about emerging environmental issues and advocates for environmental protection. ELS sponsors a Student-Initiated Legal Services project, the ECO SLP. ELS also hosts discussions and speakers on environmental law topics. Recent activities include a panel on summer legal positions in environmental law, advocating for UC to divest from fossil fuel investments, and hikes in local open spaces.
Students for Economic & Environmental Justice (SEEJ)
SEEJ is an affinity group for law students interested in economic and environmental justice issues and advocacy. Committed to the equitable distribution of environmental and economic benefits and burdens, SEEJ investigates the strategic use of legal tools to strengthen grassroots organizing and build community power. SEEJ students are involved in a number of Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects, bring relevant practitioners and academics to speak at Berkeley Law, organize “GrassRoutes” tours of environmental hotspots to get students out into the community, and host annual symposia focused on environmental and economic justice issues.
Animal Law Society
The Boalt Hall Animal Law Society (ALS) is a student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. We are dedicated to educating the law school community about forms of institutionalized animal abuse and fostering awareness of legal avenues for addressing animal rights issues. SALDF provides opportunities, education, and assistance to Berkeley Law students using the law to promote animal welfare.
Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (SLPS)
The ECO SLP, sponsored by ELS, has completed multiple pro-bono projects with Earthjustice. These projects have been related to an exemption in the Clean Water Act that allows discharge of waste water from oil and gas extraction to surface water in the arid west. Working with faculty advisers, students have conducted legal research and drafted legal memoranda to address the issue in both general and in specific (on-the-ground in a particular location) terms.
The Karuk-Berkeley Collaborative is a student-initiated legal services project that contributes to the Karuk Tribe’s ongoing efforts to preserve its natural and cultural resources and resolve other legal issues. Working with tribal representatives, supervising attorneys, and other stakeholders, KBC provides useful, concrete deliverables including memoranda, amicus briefs, white papers, and legal templates. KBC builds core clinical skills in legal research and writing, client representation, professional conduct, and teamwork while raising awareness of Federal Indian law, environmental, and cultural property issues among Berkeley Law students. Past projects have included helping the Tribe use the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act to cope with the impacts of dams and mining on sacred tribal resources — including wild and scenic rivers, national forests, and protected species such as the California native coho salmon — and analysis of federal law as it relates to cultural patrimony and trademark and copyright questions regarding use of the Tribe’s name, cultural practices, and symbols.
LEEP partners with the Green Collar Communities Clinic (at the East Bay Community Law Center) and the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) to put on workshops about legal topics related to start-up food justice enterprises and participate in SELC’s “Legal Eats” workshops. In addition, LEEP works with these organizations at weekly “Resilient Community Legal Cafes.” LEEP members perform client intake and assist practicing attorneys in providing legal advice for small-scale food enterprises and other community-based enterprises including cooperatives, nonprofits, cottage food businesses, social enterprises, urban farms, complementary currencies, time banks, and small businesses.