Clinic Overview

Wake Forest Law's Environmental Law and Policy Clinic creates opportunities for students to help advance the goals and defend the interests of local, state, national, and international clients. These opportunities encourage a solution-focused approach to environmental concerns. This means student practice looking at problems and issues from all sides while also prioritizing the goals and needs of their clients.

The Environmental Law and Policy Clinic is primarily a teaching opportunity that also benefits those otherwise unable to afford or access environmental representation. This clinic focuses predominantly on matters that are local to northwestern North Carolina or are otherwise international in scope. Students work collectively as a law firm so that they learn from the experience of their peers as well as their individual clients.

Contact Us

Scott Schang
Clinic Director
 336.758.3796
 schangs@wfu.edu

Contact us for more information on the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic.

The Course

Studying and practicing environmental law and policy is an excellent opportunity to hone skills that cut across economics, social issues, scientific uncertainty, and environmental imperatives. From researching and writing to strategizing, arguing, and counseling, environmental practice allows law students to learn how to be well-rounded lawyers and to work with people in various disciplines.

The Environmental Law and Policy Clinic is offered each spring semester. It is only open to Wake Forest Law School students who have completed the first semester of their second year of study.

It is a 4four-credit course that requires students to spend 10-12 hours per week on clinic and course work. Class time is spent focusing on professional responsibility, legal basics, and learning the tools available to lawyers. Practitioners and clients will occasionally attend class to provide insights into working with scientists, advocates, companies, and government officials.

Matters

The Environmental Law and Policy Clinic takes on non-litigation matters for clients who are otherwise unable to afford or access legal representation on matters relating to environmental and sustainability issues. The clinic does not engage in litigation on behalf of clients.

The clinic seeks a diverse set of matters to give students a fulsome exposure to the variety of issues that arise in legal practice, including:

  • Amicus briefs for experts to international human rights bodies for climate change harms
  • Model laws to protect environmental and land defenders
  • Environmental justice policies in North Carolina
  • Siting and environmental impacts of poultry farms
  • Erosion of local homeowners’ property after increased development
  • Volatilization of lead during house and structure fires and resultant contamination
  • Causes and effects of property insecurity in Forsyth County
  • Management of historic land contamination at a local school
  • Best practices in land use and land management around the globe

Clients include international organizations, national think-tanks, state environmental coalitions, regional and local non-profit organizations, local schools, county governments, among others.

Scott Schang

Clinic Director

Scott Schang, a professor of practice at Wake Forest Law, is the director of the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. He is an expert on environmental law and governance and has extensive experience working with corporations, multilateral investment banks, international development agencies, international and local civil society partners, and community members. His work with these groups continues to involve designing and implementing socially responsible practices as well as designing and assessing the efficacy of environmental legal systems.

Faculty Profile »

Clinic Director

Scott Schang, a professor of practice at Wake Forest Law, is the director of the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. He is an expert on environmental law and governance and has extensive experience working with corporations, multilateral investment banks, international development agencies, international and local civil society partners, and community members. His work with these groups continues to involve designing and implementing socially responsible practices as well as designing and assessing the efficacy of environmental legal systems.

Faculty Profile »