Environmental Law Clinic

Working in the areas of air quality, water quality, oil and gas production, and environmental regulations, the Environmental Law Clinic represents low-income clients in matters ranging from legislative drafting to litigation to client counseling. Students in the clinic work in interdisciplinary teams to solve clients' environment-related legal problems.

Services to the Public

The clinic considers client matters on a first-come, first-served basis. Potential clients may call 412-648-1300 to speak with a clinic representative, who will take down their information and relay it to the clinic’s supervising attorney. The supervising attorney will evaluate each matter to determine whether:

  • The clinic has adequate resources to handle the matter;
  • The matter meets the clinic’s pedagogical objectives;
  • The matter has a good-faith basis in fact and law (or may have such a basis upon case development); and
  • The request for services is consistent with the clinic’s role as a law firm of last resort.

The clinic does not charge for attorney, staff, or student time. However, some administrative fees and external professional fees may apply depending on the nature of the services requested.

Currently, the clinic has sufficient funding to provide legal services only in Western and Central Pennsylvania, but it is considering ways to expand services to the tri-state region.

Fieldwork / Client Representation

The clinic represents individuals, organizations, and governmental entities otherwise unable to afford legal and technical services for their environmental and community-health needs.

Classroom Component

In the fall semester clinic seminar, the student learns to conduct sufficient factual investigation to address and solve environmental problems. The seminar helps students to understand the needs of clients. By the end of the first-semester seminar, students should be able to employ creative problem-solving skills to develop case theory; engage in detailed case planning and analysis; utilize cross-disciplinary consulting during client interview preparation; develop strategies after goal identification; gather information; draft, review, and revise pleadings or filings; develop persuasive legal and policy documents; and analyze and critique their own performances and the performances of others.

In the spring semester, students will work on skills in factual investigation, with a focus on environmental litigation. They will learn about depositions, administrative hearing procedures, basic motion practice, and the roles of attorneys and clients in trial preparation.

Credits

6 per semester. Students may take only one semester or may take two consecutive semesters.

Transcript / Awarding of Credits

Semester by semester

Extension

Students may be eligible to extend their participation in the clinic via field work. Students must complete at least one full semester of clinic before being eligible for the field work extension.

Eligibility Requirements / Prerequisites

None

Application Procedure and Selection Basis

Open enrollment

Additional Contact

Potential clients should call the clinic at 412-648-1300 to complete the initial intake process. Potential clients and clients should complete the initial intake process via telephone and schedule an appointment before visiting the clinic, which is located at Suite 5200, 210 South Bouquet Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15260.

Faculty / Staff

Grant MacIntyre, Clinical Assistant Professor and Supervising Attorney

Nadine Hamlett, Administrative Assistant