Environmental Law & Policy Clinic
Student attorneys are the cornerstone of San Diego Coastkeeper’s legal force.
They shoulder the majority of the organization’s legal workload under close supervision of our legal clinic director. Student attorneys develop methods to identify pollution problems, then select and implement a strategy to solve them.
Methods to identify pollution may include:
- obtaining and reviewing public records,
- patrolling local waters on Coastkeeper’s boat, Clean Sweep,
- conducting targeted investigations of construction sites, parks or industrial facilities,
- meeting with community groups and concerned citizens,
- responding to hotline tips, or
- developing volunteer-based pollution patrols.
Student attorneys may solve pollution problems by collaborating with polluters or regulators, empowering community members to take action, initiating litigation, working with media or developing policy solutions. They will participate in a weekly clinic session to learn additional skills such as complaint-writing, working with experts, taking and defending depositions, analyzing legal requirements for a particular law, working effectively with partner organizations, techniques for improving written advocacy or public speaking.
Coastkeeper asks local students to make a two-semester, part-time (approximately 10-20 hours/week) commitment, either during the Spring of 2L year and Fall of 3L year or during the full 3L year. Students working during the semester must meet all the requirements under California law to become certified law students.
Coastkeeper also accepts a limited number of student attorneys full-time during the summer and welcomes inquiries from those seeking a full-time externship during the semester or volunteer opportunities for law school graduates and practicing attorneys.
Spring 2013: September 1, 2012
Summer 2013: September 15, 2012
All other things being equal between candidates, applicants who apply first will be given preference.
Coastkeeper will coordinate with student attorneys and participating law schools to provide course credit and/or financial compensation. Coastkeeper does not offer stipends directly to student attorneys.