If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re working or interested in environmental issues. Maybe you think more can be done to expand access. Maybe you’re interested in citizen science and access to expert witnesses, or maybe you’re a legal service provider wondering if the project can help you or your colleagues. Perhaps you’re a law student or recent graduate experiencing a challenge in finding work or gaining experience. And maybe you’re a practitioner in another field, a small firm, a retired attorney, interested in providing your expertise. If you’re any of the above, ‘Law for the Environmental Grassroots’ has something for you – because it should be easier to get involved and to contribute.
Legal Service Provider Next Steps
LEG does not want to reinvent the wheel – it wants to help support existing organizations, strengthen the overall community of environmental lawyers, and help empower the clients you already work with. Developing a common systems of referral and support is another, in the same vein of LEAP, which could be part of an online network (local or national) that houses databases on expert witnesses and vetted attorneys available for pro or lo-bono work.
- Become a member of LEG’s legal service roster (check out common FAQs here)
- Add information to the legal service provider database (either the ‘organizations’ or ‘legal technology’ tabs)
- Take the legal service provider survey and tell us what your needs are
- Tell us what you think!
The Law Student/Recent Graduate Next Steps
This initiative is meant to make it easier for law students and graduates get involved in their communities, to help connect people to organizations, get law schools interested in offering related classes, symposia, clinics, and project. It means to brainstorm new funding models to actually, you know, help pay you, as well as giving you legal experience. And it work to expand mentorship opportunities – because sometimes it’s nice to talk with someone who feels the way you do.
- Let us know if your law school is
- Interested in hosting a symposia or conference
- Interested in potentially hosting information (e.g. databases)
- Interested in working on technology and legal access
- Recent Graduates
Practitioner Next Steps
LEG is not about pressuring everyone to drop their jobs and join in. It is about connecting needs with resources and finding ways to make it easier and more fulfilling for attorneys to become involved. As practitioners, you may or may not already have a pro bono department at your firm. If you do, and you wish there were more environmental projects available – that’s possible. And if you don’t, and wish there was a listserv of pro bono opportunities tailed to small and medium-sized law firms, that’s possible too. Issues of conflict do not have to be show-stoppers, and several legal service providers have already expressed interest in expanding their clearinghouses to include issues of environmental injustice. Because if you want to use your legal skills to benefit environmental issues – there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to!
- Ask your pro bono department if they have a specific policy on what you can and can’t work on, and let us know!
- Fill out this survey on legal needs
- Explore and contribute to the legal services database (either the ‘organizations’ or ‘legal technology’ tabs)
- Let us know if you are interested in getting involved in any other capacity