The Journal of Environmental and Energy Law is published in collaboration with the Certificate Program in Environmental and Energy Law (PEEL). IIT Chicago-Kent has been at the forefront of training legal professionals to deal with critical, rapidly emerging, environmental and energy issues. The law school has long been recognized as a leader in the field, having established one of the first specialization programs in environmental and energy law in the mid-1980s. The certificate program allows J.D. students to gain in-depth knowledge of this important area of practice. The program provides not only a firm grounding in the core legal principles of environmental law but also an understanding of the underlying scientific, economic, and ethical concepts that inform environmental and energy policy.
Chicago Environmental Law Clinic
IIT Chicago-Kent, in partnership with the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic, sponsors the Chicago Environmental Law Clinic. The mission of the Chicago Environmental Law Clinic is to enable people who are confronting urban environmental problems to have equal access to environmental justice. The clinic serves people who, but for the clinic, would be unrepresented in environmental matters that directly affect the health, safety, and welfare of their families and communities. The clinic does not impose an environmental agenda or ideology on its clients, but rather provides legal education, advocacy, and volunteer services in response to community-directed concerns. The creation of the Chicago Environmental Law Clinic enables an exponential increase in environmental legal services to clients, while also providing students with a service-learning experience. The clinic also enables environmental professionals to volunteer their services in public interest environmental cases and offers new opportunities to explore the policy implications found in environmental cases that arise in urban settings.
Environmental Law Moot Court
Each year, Chicago-Kent sends a team of three students to participate in the Pace Law School National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, which takes place the third week in February. In the preceding August/September, the student team is chosen from interested 2L and 3L (and 4L evening) students. Depending on the amount of student interest, Chicago-Kent’s team is chosen through an interview process or through an internal student competition. The students work closely together from early October to early December to write and file a brief for the competition. Oral argument practice begins toward the end of winter break in early or mid-January. Preparing for and participating in the competition is always an extremely valuable and rewarding experience.
Environmental Law Society
The Environmental Law Society (“ELS”) is a student organization focused on enhancing our school’s profile as one of the nation’s top-rated environmental law schools. ELS sponsors speaker events, volunteer outings, and takes part in the Illinois State Bar Environmental Law Conference each spring. In addition to these opportunities, ELS seeks to continually improve Chicago-Kent’s sustainability through yearly campaigns. In furtherance of ELS’ mission to strengthen the capacity of members to make real contributions to the field of environmental law — and to the environment itself — in the local, national, and international communities, ELS awards students who pursue a low-paying or unpaid environmental advocacy position with a summer fellowship.