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Clinics & SPOs

Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic

  • Smoke coming from smokestacks at a coal fired power station at sunset.

    Supreme Court preview: West Virginia v. EPA

    February 28, 2022

    Harvard Law expert Shaun Goho explains how a complicated Supreme Court case could have major implications for government agencies and the environment.

  • Illustration showing alternative clean energy sources: hydro energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, and solar energy.

    Electric slide

    September 21, 2021

    Helping key players across Massachusetts — including the City of Boston and environmental nonprofits — reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 is a focus for the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School.

  • Wendy Jacobs

    Wendy Jacobs: 1956-2021

    February 10, 2021

    Wendy Jacobs, one of the nation’s most highly celebrated environmental law experts, was the founding director of the first-ever environmental law and policy clinic at Harvard Law School.

  • Ecological concept in circle on white background

    Environmental law clinic pushes back against federal efforts to roll back regulations

    April 21, 2020

    Students, faculty and staff in the Harvard Law School's Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic are still hard at work, pushing back against the current administration’s attempts to undo environmental regulations approved under former President Barack Obama ’91.

  • Four students standing.

    Cravath Fellows pursue research and independent clinicals around the world 

    March 10, 2020

    During Winter Term, 12 Harvard Law School students traveled to 12 countries as Cravath International Fellows to pursue clinical placements or independent research with an international, transnational, or comparative law focus.

  • Jody Freeman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

    Jody Freeman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

    April 17, 2019

    The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has announced that Jody Freeman LL.M. '91 S.J.D. '95, Archibald Cox Professor of Law, has been elected a member of the honorary society, one of twelve members of the Harvard faculty to receive the honor this year.

  • Puerto Rico benefits from Harvard’s living lab

    Puerto Rico benefits from Harvard’s living lab

    December 14, 2018

    A plan designed by a team of Harvard University students to create a reliable source of renewable, affordable electricity for a Puerto Rican community hammered in 2017 by Hurricane Maria has moved a step closer to reality. The students are enrolled in Professor Wendy Jacobs' Harvard’s “Climate Solutions Living Lab” course.

  • Four images from the feature in a series

    Experiential and Essential

    August 30, 2018

    Clinical education at HLS: Four experiences

  • Wendy Jacobs, Harvard officials call on EPA to withdraw proposed ‘transparency’ rule

    Wendy Jacobs, Harvard officials call on EPA to withdraw proposed ‘transparency’ rule

    August 15, 2018

    A letter drafted by HLS's Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic Director Wendy Jacobs, and signed by nearly 100 hospital leaders and Harvard faculty, calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its proposed rule on scientific “transparency,” saying that the change would drastically limit the scientific and medical knowledge that underlie a host of EPA regulations that protect human health.

  • Branch Returns to Her Navajo Roots 7

    Branch Returns to Her Navajo Roots

    June 26, 2018

    As attorney general of the Navajo Nation, Ethel Branch ’08 aims to strengthen tribal law and native voices.

  • Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape 3

    Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape

    June 26, 2018

    More than 100 years after students started the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, there are now 40 clinics and Student Practice Organizations at HLS, focused on everything from cyberlaw to veterans’ rights.

  • On Earth Day, Antonio Oposa LL.M. ’97 reflects on efforts to bring environmental sustainability to the Philippines

    On Earth Day, Antonio Oposa LL.M. ’97 reflects on efforts to bring environmental sustainability to the Philippines

    April 20, 2018

    Antonio Oposa Jr. LL.M. ’97 reflects on his legacy and efforts to bring environmental sustainability to his home country, the Philippines.

  • Branch returns to her Navajo roots 3

    Branch returns to her Navajo roots

    March 5, 2018

    Ethel Branch ’08 grew up on her family’s ranch with no electricity, no running water, and a long list of questions about injustice. As she grew up, Branch knew she had to address these questions. “That confusion as to why the world changed when you crossed the Navajo Nation boundary line was a driving question for my youth and my life,” says Branch. It propelled her to study law and policy. And three years ago, at age 36, it led her to become Attorney General of the Navajo Nation.

  • Students help groups to pursue climate action

    Students help groups to pursue climate action

    November 20, 2017

    Led by Professor Wendy Jacobs, director of the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School, the Climate Solutions Living Lab course launched last spring to help push forward the transition to a carbon-free future that supports planetary and human health.

  • The evolution of American environmental law from Nixon to Trump

    The evolution of American environmental law from Nixon to Trump

    November 7, 2017

    “The Remarkable Evolution of American Environmental Law from Nixon to Trump and Beyond” panel during Harvard Law School's bicentennial summit focused on the uncertain future of the Environmental Protection Agency in the current administration. Panelists A. James Barnes ’67, Richard J. Lazarus ‘79, William Reilly ’65 and Gina McCarthy looked at the EPA’s distinguished history.

  • Joseph Goffman joins Environmental Law Program as new executive director

    Joseph Goffman joins Environmental Law Program as new executive director

    October 2, 2017

    Joseph Goffman, who, over a 30-year career, has shaped environmental law and policy at the highest levels of the Executive branch and as a senior congressional staffer, will join Harvard Law School's Environmental Law Program in November as Executive Director.

  • Paola Eisner ’19: Environmentalist, internationalist and artist 2

    Paola Eisner ’19: Environmentalist, internationalist and artist

    September 19, 2017

    At HLS in the Arts this past weekend, Paola Eisner ’19 exhibited a large still life that she painted before she went to college, and pages from a children’s book that she began working on before she started law school. Like these, many of the interests and projects that she pursues today have deeper roots.

  • Harvard Law School: 2016 in review

    December 22, 2016

    A look back at 2016, highlights of the people who visited, events that took place and everyday life at Harvard Law School.

  • Another ‘Angry Granny’ on Climate Justice

    November 18, 2016

    In a recent conversation at HLS with Dean Martha Minow, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and U.N. special envoy on El Niño and climate change, told the story of how she came to be an “Angry Granny” on the topic of climate change, starting with her discussions with people in the most deeply affected communities.

  • Wendy Jacobs, Harvard officials call on EPA to withdraw proposed ‘transparency’ rule

    Harvard strengthens ‘living laboratory’ to help mitigate climate impact

    October 7, 2016

    Wendy Jacobs ’81, clinical professor and director of Harvard Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, will lead the Living Lab Course and Research Project, which is designed to bring together students from across the University in interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative approaches for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at Harvard and beyond.

  • Climate change: Has the EPA gone overboard?

    September 13, 2016

    Professor Jody Freeman, founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program, participated in an Intelligence Squared debate on the EPA's bold initiative to reduce carbon pollution at power plants.

  • Hunting polluting gases around Boston

    April 18, 2016

    Harvard students, faculty and fellows are training new high-tech instruments on Boston’s skies, searching for one well-known troublemaker and one escapee among the atmosphere’s invisible gases.

  • Two former Republican EPA Administrators file brief supporting Obama’s plan to cut carbon emissions

    March 31, 2016

    Two former EPA Administrators, who served Republican Presidents, William D. Ruckelshaus and William K. Reilly, filed a friend of the court brief supporting the Obama administration’s plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. EPA’s Clean Power Plan is being challenged in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by a coalition of State and industry opponents. This week, EPA filed its response to the legal challenge, and a number of other briefs are being filed in support of the Administration.

  • Jody Freeman

    HLS faculty awarded Climate Change Solutions Fund grants for multidisciplinary research

    March 3, 2016

    Ten research projects driven by faculty collaborators across six Harvard Schools will share over $1 million in the second round of grants awarded by the Climate Change Solutions Fund, an initiative launched last year by President Drew Faust to encourage multidisciplinary research around climate change.

  • Disclosures on fracking lacking, study finds

    December 16, 2015

    As the growth of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” transforms more rural landscapes across the heartland into industrial zones, companies are less willing to disclose the chemicals they inject into the ground, Harvard researchers have found.

  • Professor Laurence Tribe

    A rebuttal from Tribe

    March 29, 2015

    Professor Laurence H. Tribe ’66 In previous exchanges with my colleagues Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus, I have explained why EPA’s Clean Power Plan lacks…

  • Professor Laurence Tribe

    Laurence Tribe’s Reply to Professors Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus

    March 22, 2015

    Professor Laurence H. Tribe ’66 I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the rebuttal of my colleagues Jody Freeman and Richard Lazarus, who continue to…

  • New HLS report offers assessment of regional and municipal stormwater management

    July 1, 2014

    In June, Harvard Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic and the Environmental Policy Initiative released “Regional and Municipal Stormwater Management: A Comprehensive Approach,” a new report that analyzes options for addressing stormwater pollution at both the regional and municipal level.

  • The Meat We Eat: HLS hosts a forum on industrial animal farming (video)

    May 2, 2014

    The Harvard Food Law Society hosted The Meat We Eat: 2014 Forum on Industrial Animal Farming, on Friday, April 4. The forum, co-hosted with the HLS Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, explored the legal and policy aspects of industrial animal farming and related effects on public health, the environment and animal welfare.

  • Tackling Climate Change through Law and Policy: A Q&A with Jody Freeman

    April 24, 2014

    n the spirit of Harvard University President Drew Faust’s recent focus on addressing the problem of climate change, we interviewed HLS Professor Jody Freeman, who served in the Obama administration as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change and is the co-author of a forthcoming book on global climate change and U.S. law.

  • Margaret Holden ’14

    Meet the Students: Some “Environmental Impact Statements”…

    March 7, 2014

    Students and recent graduates share their experiences with the Environmental Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law and discuss the influence that participation in the range of offerings has had on their academic and professional careers in Environmental Law.

  • Changing the Climate of Environmental Law

    March 7, 2014

    Having completed its first phase of growth, the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program is now looking to strengthen and build. “We’ve gone from zero to 100 in a very short period of time,” says HLS Professor Jody Freeman, program founder and director. “And I feel as if we are just getting started.”

  • Joy Covey

    Joy Covey ’89: 1963-2013

    January 1, 2014

    The legacy of an unconventional thinker Credit: John Soares Joy Covey ’89, a passionate advocate for the environment Joy Covey ’89, former CFO of Amazon.com,…

  • EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

    Targeting Climate Change: EPA chief says issue is economic as well as environmental (video)

    July 31, 2013

    Newly confirmed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Tuesday pledged action on climate change during the Obama administration’s remaining years, saying the concern is as much economic as it is environmental.

  • Harvard Law study finds legal fractures in chemical disclosure laws

    May 3, 2013

    A registry intended to provide information to the public about the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing is not an acceptable regulatory measure, according to a recently released report by Harvard Law School’s Environmental Law Program Policy Initiative.

  • HLS Environmental Law Clinic wins victory for renewable energy

    August 8, 2012

    For more than two years, Harvard Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic has represented a group of general contractors who specialize in renewable energy projects but were being blocked from installing solar power by a state licensing board. Led by Clinic Director and Clinical Professor Wendy Jacobs, Harvard Law School students have prevailed in a two-year battle to lift restrictions on the installation of solar power in Massachusetts.

  • HLS Professor Richard J. Lazarus

    Harvard Thinks Green (video)

    January 5, 2012

    The United States is experiencing “an environmental law-making crisis,” said Harvard Law School Professor Richard Lazarus at “Harvard Thinks Green,” an environmental sustainability event held at Harvard in December. The event was co-hosted by Harvard Thinks Big, the Office for Sustainability and the Center for the Environment at Harvard University.

  • Heron ’12 presents oral argument in environmental law case

    October 25, 2011

    Environmental Law & Policy Clinic student Rachel Heron ’12 presented a 3-hour oral argument on a motion for summary judgment in an important, precedent-setting administrative proceeding concerning the right of renewable energy companies to conduct business and install solar energy systems in Massachusetts.

  • HLS Professor Jody Freeman, ELI President John Cruden, and HLS Professor Richard Lazarus

    Environmental Law experts review cases before the Court (video)

    October 4, 2011

    On September 28, the Harvard Law School Environmental Law Program and Environmental Law Institute hosted a Supreme Court Review and Preview to discuss the implications of recent Supreme Court decisions on the field of environmental law. Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow introduced the event, and emphasized the Supreme Court’s role in the formation of environmental policy in the United States.

  • Professor Richard J. Lazarus '79

    Lazarus honored with ABA Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy

    August 17, 2011

    In August, Professor Richard Lazarus ’79 was honored at the ABA annual meeting in Toronto with the association’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy. The award was given to Lazarus for his significant leadership in improving environmental protection and sustainable development.

  • Green Cup Challenge

    Green Cup challenge emphasizes importance of reducing carbon footprint

    July 14, 2011

    After a yearlong competition involving sustainability pledges, bottled water and green apparel, Section 6 emerged victorious in the first-annual Harvard Law School 1L Green Cup.

  • Exit Interviews: A look at seven new graduates and where they’re headed

    June 10, 2011

    In her commencement address to the Class of 2011 on May 26, Dean Martha Minow praised students’ accomplishments at HLS and their vast array of skills and achievements. As they prepared to receive their diplomas, she urged them to cherish their talent for asking good questions: “Indeed, the questions asked by Harvard Law School’s Class of 2011, now and in the future, will define law and leadership in the years to come. Your influence reflects what Harvard Law School is and who you are and who you will become. I simply ask you to use your influence to better your communities and the world,” she said. Here, seven members of the class reflect on influences during their educational journey and how they intend to use their education to influence others.

  • Benjamin Thibault ’09

    Jacobs’ Ladder

    July 28, 2008

    A new clinic lets students step up to environmental challenges—and onto the first rungs of their careers

  • Lawyers for the Dammed

    July 1, 2008

    For students and faculty in an HLS clinic, human rights and environmental law flow together.

  • Malone and Jacobs appointed clinical professors of law

    May 13, 2008

    Phil Malone and Wendy Jacobs ’81 have been appointed clinical professors of law, Dean Elena Kagan ’86 announced today.