Skip to main content

News Release

Environmental Law Institute

“How do we get these legal issues resolved?” is a question often heard from overburdened communities dealing with environmental justice issues. And the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) community, which consists of thousands of lawyers, consultants, and other environmental professionals, has been asking a related question: “How can we meaningfully contribute to overcoming environmental racism in our communities?”

The Environmental Law Institute is excited to announce the launch of its new Pro Bono Clearinghouse, which seeks to bridge the interests of communities in need of legal services and the interests of environmental professionals in securing pro bono service opportunities in their field of practice, using law schools and other clinical programs as the connective tissue in establishing these relationships.

The Pro Bono Clearinghouse is one of the many action items identified in the Institute’s December 2020 Statement on Racism and Environmental Justice. “The Environmental Law Institute’s vision and mission connect strongly with environmental justice goals, and our staff have been working to foster environmental justice in our governance systems for decades,” said Environmental Law Institute President Jordan Diamond. “The Pro Bono Clearinghouse aims to take another step toward environmental justice by facilitating more support for communities who need it—making it easier for communities to connect with pro bono attorneys they might not otherwise find.”

Environmental Law Institute members are always looking for quality pro bono and subject matter-relevant environmental matters. Meanwhile, communities across the nation — and the world — require the help of attorneys working pro bono for a multitude of environmental matters around them: blight and brownfields, aging infrastructure, water quality and water access, flood risk, extreme weather, ocean-level rise, and so forth. The Environmental Law Institute pro bono program will allow the Environmental Law Institute to connect the dots between the environmental clinics, the many communities in need of environmental legal pro bono assistance, and our outstanding, capable, and philanthropic Environmental Law Institute members.

“Environmental clinics are forced to turn down countless cases a year due to lack of resources,” said Environmental Law Institute Visiting Attorney Scott Wilson Badenoch, Jr., who spearheaded the initiative. “With the Environmental Law Institute’s pro bono platform, clinics will be able to post the matters they cannot take, or encourage the communities in need of legal support to post directly, and 3,500+ members of the Environmental Law Institute will be notified of the opportunity.”

The Clearinghouse is a place to share opportunities and identify expertise to support communities and organizations with the environmental legal issues they face. Matters will be posted with contact information for attorney members to connect directly with the source of the matters. Each post will include the type of matter and jurisdiction for efficient identification.

The Environmental Law Institute is also looking for partners to grow the platform. If you are interested in growing this initiative as a firm member, clinic, or organization, please contact the pro bono team directly at perry@eli.org or go to eli.org/probono to receive more information.

If you are interested in posting a matter or, performing environmental pro bono, or you are a community looking for legal support for your EJ matter, please visit eli.org/probono.

Note: The Environmental Law Institute does not assess the efficacy or specifics of the legal matters that may be listed and does not engage in the legal work at any point; the Environmental Law Institute is simply a clearinghouse for our members to find potential pro bono environmental matters.

About Environmental Law Institute

The Environmental Law Institute makes law work for people, places, and the planet. With its non-partisan, independent approach, the Environmental Law Institute promotes solutions to tough environmental problems. The Institute’s unparalleled research and highly respected publications inform the public debate and build the institutions needed to advance sustainable development.

Environmental Law Institute - logo