Announcing New Coastkeeper Environmental Water Law Clinic at Whittier Law School

Clinic Will Give Students Hands-On Experience Enforcing the Federal Clean Water Act

COSTA MESA, CA – Sep 24, 2013 – To protect the quality of water in Southern California, law students and a non-profit environmental organization are now working together. Orange County Coastkeeper and Whittier Law School have joined forces to create the Coastkeeper Environmental Water Law Clinic at Whittier Law School.

Through the Coastkeeper Environmental Water Law Clinic, students will assist Coastkeeper to prepare for litigation using the federal Clean Water Act against polluters affecting water quality in Orange County and the Inland Empire. Whittier Law students will also help protect public access to waterways under the Coastal Act, taking an active role in following, monitoring and commenting on development projects that may affect regional waterways and public access.

The Clinic is being taught by Coastkeeper staff attorney and Whittier Law School alumnus Colin Kelly. Students work with Kelly for 13 hours per week each on Coastkeeper’s legal cases and advocacy issues. The Clinic will take place both on the Whittier Law School campus and at the Coastkeeper office in Costa Mesa.

“Orange County does not have a large environmental law presence, and so we are providing a new learning opportunity for students interested in the developing field of environmental law,” states Kelly. “Environmental law is one of the most dynamic fields of law since it only really emerged in the 1970s. The field is continually evolving so these students will be a part of an exciting new legal arena.”

Whittier Law School also offers an Environmental Law Concentration, allowing students to specialize their law degrees. According to Peter Reich, a professor at Whittier Law School who teaches many environmental law courses, “The Clinic also helps position our students for employment after graduation. California Lawyer magazine has listed the environmental law field as one of the top five specialties for placement, and we want to help our students gain hands-on experience to enter that field.”

About Orange County Coastkeeper
Founded in 1999, Orange County Coastkeeper identifies pollution issues affecting water quality in local creeks, rivers, bays and coastal regions. The mission of Coastkeeper is to protect and promote sustainable water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. Coastkeeper is a proactive, collaborative, and dynamic 501 © 3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit or call 714-850-1965.

About Whittier Law School
Founded nearly 50 years ago and accredited by the American Bar Association since 1978, Whittier Law School offers an innovative, practical legal education with experiences in the legal field to prepare lawyers for today’s practice. Located in Orange County, California, Whittier Law School was recently named the 6th Most Innovative Law School in the nation. For more information, visit

Article Info

Categories: Press Releases