Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic

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The Environmental Litigation Clinic provides student interns with the opportunity to represent public interest environmental groups bringing citizen enforcement actions in state and federal courts on a variety of environmental and land use issues, including water pollution, compliance with environmental review requirements, and cleanup of toxic sites. These citizen suits are the last line of defense in protecting the environment and also serve to compel EPA and state environmental agencies to do the job they are required to do to protect the environment.

Students represent clinic clients in various aspects of legal work, which may include researching and developing cases, drafting litigation papers, appearing in court, and preparing for and conducting hearings. The primary client of the clinic is Riverkeeper, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to protecting the Hudson River and its tributaries.

Student interns practice under the JJLS student practice order, representing our clients in litigation against polluters seeking to enforce environmental laws, or against the EPA or New York DEC seeking to force the agencies to comply with their obligations under the law.   

In addition to the case work, the weekly seminar focuses on substantive environmental law and on lawyering skills encountered in major civil litigation. Skill areas include case planning, integration of facts and law, client counseling, negotiation, drafting legal documents, and pretrial and trial advocacy.

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