GreenLaw is the student-run environmental law society at the University of Washington School of Law.  We are law students dedicated to environmental work in the non-profit, government, and private sectors.  We welcome all students who are interested in environmental issues – from climate change to sustainable agriculture to pollution control – and who wish to contribute to our educational, advocacy, and community service goals.


Throughout the academic year, GreenLaw offers programs to the Law School, the University, and the greater Seattle community covering the full spectrum of environmental law issues.  Our goal is to bring leaders from the field of environmental law and related disciplines to educate our community, and to provide a venue for cutting-edge dialogue, scholarship, and community engagement.  We are also deeply committed to serving as a public resource -- by providing educational opportunities, information, and direct legal advocacy for clients and organizations in need of assistance.  Through all of this work, our emphasis is on having fun with a diverse group of students who share a passion for environmental law.


Programming highlights include:

  • Speaker Series.  We offer lunchtime and afternoon lectures on environmental law topics throughout the year.  In the past we have hosted the lead State attorney involved in the clean-up of the Hanford nuclear site, scientists from UW’s Climate Impacts Group, and local experts in water pollution regulation – to name a few.  Last spring we collaborated with the Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy to bring attorneys to campus representing the U.S. Government and the State of Louisiana in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill, as well as tribal representatives and Indian Law experts to discuss the impact of oil and gas development on Washington tribes.
  • Advocacy on Pressing Environmental Law Issues.  Each year, GreenLaw 1Ls collaborate with public interest lawyers in the field to work on an environmental law project on behalf of the public or economically disadvantaged clients.  Last year we worked with the Trustees for Alaska, a leading environmental law organization, on two projects concerning the Clean Water Act and management of Alaska’s water resources.  We also worked with the Center for Environmental Law and Policy on issues related to the evolution of industrialized aquaculture in Western Washington, including plastic pollution problems associated with geoduck harvesting. Participating 1Ls in our 2011 advocacy project will conduct legal research, work directly with attorneys at our partner organization, and have an impact on an issue of pressing regional significance.
  • Networking & Professional Development.  GreenLaw provides meaningful opportunities for its members to interact with environmental law professionals in the non-profit, government, and private sectors.  We host several career panels each year featuring leaders in the Seattle legal community with an interest in recruiting UW law students.  We also organize downtown happy hours with environmental lawyers to give students a chance to get to know local practitioners in a more informal setting.  In addition, this fall we will reprise our popular “Summer Environmental Work” brown-bag lunch where 1Ls can hear from and ask questions of 2L and 3L students who have completed environmental law internships, externships, and summer jobs.
  • Representing the Student Voice in the Environmental Law Program.  Through our “curriculum committee,” led by 2L board members, we represent the student voice in meetings and are involved in ongoing collaboration with the law school administration and faculty to ensure the highest quality academic programming in environmental law.
  • Service.  GreenLaw has made an effort in recent years to involve our students in service activities in our local communities.  Last year GreenLaw members took part in a service project with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, helping to restore a local salmon stream as part of Earth Week.
  • Fun.  While all of our projects are a lot of fun, we also make time to hike and gather outside of the law school for relaxation and recreation as a group.  Keep your eye out for upcoming hikes, potlucks, and other shenanigans!.