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Webinar: Law School-Based Environmental Law Clinics: A Critical Role in Private Enforcement and Legal Training

June 30, 2020 @ 12:00 pm 1:15 pm

This program offers 1.25 participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance to participate.

Throughout California, law schools have served an important role in training the next generation of environmental law practitioners with environmental clinics that advance environmental protections and eliminate environmental burdens in underserved communities across the state. Join clinic directors and attorney supervisors as we explore how environmental law clinics are a force contributing to private enforcement efforts from the direct representation of clients to amici briefs, and essential to providing law students with critical professional opportunities and marketable legal skills. We will also discuss current clinic priorities and innovative approaches to advance environmental rights and justice in overburdened communities that might serve as a model and focus for practitioners in private environmental enforcement. 

Speakers:
Roger Lin
Deborah Sivas
Cara Horowitz

Moderator:
Lucas Williams


Roger Lin is a Clinical Supervising Attorney in UC Berkeley’s Environmental Law Clinic. He has practiced law in the public interest for over ten years, instructed the Environmental Justice course at Berkeley Law for three years, and will continue to explore the intersection of racial justice and the environment with students in the Clinic.

Roger was formerly a Staff Attorney at Communities for a Better Environment, where he represented low-income communities and communities of color in a variety of climate justice campaigns. Roger then joined the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment as a Senior Attorney to continue similar advocacy in the San Joaquin Valley. He has extensive experience in environmental and civil rights litigation and was recently appointed to the State’s Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group to advise the California Public Utilities and Energy Commissions on best practices to increase the siting of renewable resources in areas of the state most impacted by industrial pollution. Roger is a graduate of Stanford University and Golden Gate University School of Law.

Deborah A. Sivas is the director of the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, in which students provide legal counsel to dozens of national, regional and grassroots nonprofit organizations on a variety of environmental issues.

Professor Sivas’s litigation successes include challenging the Bush administration’s gas mileage standards for SUVs and light trucks and holding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accountable for regulating the discharge of invasive species in ship ballast water. Her current research is focused on the interaction of law and science in the arena of climate change and coastal/marine policy and the ability of the public to hold policymakers accountable.

Prior to assuming the clinic directorship in 1997, Professor Sivas was a partner at Gunther, Sivas & Walthall, an attorney with Earthjustice (formerly Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund), an associate in the environmental practice group at Heller Ehrman and a law clerk to Judge Judith N. Keep of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Professor Sivas earned a BA from Occidental College and an MS from the University of California Davis. She graduated from Stanford Law School in 1987.

Lucas Williams has over a decade of experience litigating environmental cases. Lucas has devoted his entire career to representing low-income communities of color and nonprofit groups in fighting for environmental justice and democracy.

In 2009, Lucas began his career at the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law, where he litigated cases under the Clean Air Act and CEQA, and represented clients in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission.  In 2012, Lucas joined the Lexington Law Group (“LLG”), a public interest environmental and consumer protection firm.  At LLG, Lucas represented nonprofit groups and communities that were exposed to highly toxic chemicals, and litigated consumer protection class actions challenging the “green washing” of consumer products.  Lucas formed Williams Environmental Law in early 2020. Lucas is a graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law.

Cara Horowitz is the Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law.  The Emmett Institute was founded as the first law school center in the nation focused on climate law and policy.  Cara teaches at the law school and directs the work of the Emmett Center to advance innovative research, public policy debate, and legislative reform to address climate change and its effects.

Prior to joining UCLA, Cara worked in the non-profit sector as a staff attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she litigated high-profile cases and advocated domestically and internationally to preserve and protect oceans and wildlife.  She has also worked at Caldwell, Leslie and Proctor, a litigation boutique, and served as law clerk to the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Horowitz is a 2001 graduate of the UCLA School of Law, where she was an articles editor of the UCLA Law Review and finished first in her class.

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