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New Environmental Water Law Clinic Debuts

New Environmental Water Law Clinic Debuts

This fall, the new Coastkeeper Environmental Water Law clinic opened, giving students hands-on experience preparing for litigation using the federal Clean Water Act. Whittier Law School joined forces with Orange County Coastkeeper to protect the quality of water 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. "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."