Wendy B. Jacobs
Emmett Clinical Professor of Environmental Law
Director, Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Wendy B. Jacobs, Esq. is the Emmett Clinical Professor of Environmental Law and Director of the Harvard Law School Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic. She is on the Faculty of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Center for Health and the Global Environment, is a Special Advisor to the HLS Dean on Learning and Practice, is a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, and is on the board of the Clean Air Task Force. Ms. Jacobs received her J.D. with honors in 1981 from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After law school, Ms. Jacobs first worked as an appellate lawyer and special litigator for the U.S. Department of Justice in its Environment Division in Washington, D.C. She then did a brief stint with a law firm in Seattle working on First Amendment and commercial litigation, followed by 18 years as a partner in the Boston law firm Foley Hoag LLP, where she worked almost exclusively on environmental matters, involving myriad environmental laws, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and a host of interesting private sector clients. Her work has covered the gamut of compliance counseling, handling of complex permit applications and their related hearings and appeals, preparation of comments on federal and state rulemakings, drafting of legislation, regulations and ordinances, administrative trials and appeals, litigation, negotiation and drafting of contracts, environmental due diligence and audits, and development of corporate risk management and environmental protection policies and manuals.
She came to Harvard in 2007 to create its Environmental Law & Policy Clinic. As Clinic Director, she provides her students a variety of complex, client-driven, environmental and energy law and policy projects, with a focus on citizen science, climate change mitigation and resiliency, sustainable aquaculture and agriculture, renewable energy, microgrids and district energy, hydraulic fracturing, carbon capture and sequestration, improved oversight and management of offshore drilling, protection of the Arctic, energy justice, and protection of national monuments. Among the Clinic’s clients are a wide variety of government entities and NGOs.
In 2017, she developed and taught a new course entitled Climate Solutions Living Lab, in which advanced students from multiple disciplines across Harvard University collaborated in designing projects to help universities and other enterprises reduce their own climate impacts via off-campus actions and investments. For two years, she taught and developed case studies for the Harvard Law School Problem Solving Workshop – an innovative class required of all first-year law students to expose them to lawyering skills. She has written white papers and model legislation focused on carbon capture and sequestration; she has written chapters on the subject for inclusion in two books, one of which is Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, published by the American Bar Association in 2014 (SSRN Abstract ID: 2379600). The other, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization of the U.S., is forthcoming in 2018 from the Environmental Law Institute Press. Ms. Jacobs also participated in and chaired a session at the Sixth International Energy Agency Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Regulatory Network Meeting in Paris, has presented at several insurance industry seminars on risks related to hydraulic fracturing, and co-hosted a conference on Climate Change Displacement: Finding Solutions to an Emerging Crisis in October 2016.
For more information on Ms. Jacobs’ work, please visit the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic website at http://environment.law.harvard.edu/emmett-clinic/.
Areas of Interest
The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic offers students an opportunity to do real-life and real-time legal and policy work. Clinic offerings include local, national, and international projects covering the spectrum of environmental issues. Depending on the project, students may undertake litigation and advocacy work by drafting briefs, preparing testimony, conducting research, developing strategy, and reviewing proposed legislation. Students present their work to clients, stakeholders, and decision-makers, including federal, state, and local officials.
Some students work off-campus with government agencies and nonprofit organizations, while others work on-campus on cutting-edge projects and case work under the supervision of Clinical Professor and Director Wendy Jacobs, Deputy Director and Senior Clinical Instructor Shaun Goho, and Clinical Instructor Aladdine Joroff. Current clinic projects focus on citizen science, dam removal, science and the law, national monuments, climate change adaptation, Hurricane Harvey response, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from buildings, and energy justice.
For more information on the Clinic's work, please visit the Clinic website at http://environment.law.harvard.edu/emmett-clinic/.