The National Jurist - Spring 2017 - 15
Greenest law schools
More and more law schools are walking the walk, not just
talking the talk. We identify the leaders in sustainable
practices and environmental curricula.
By Lori TripoLi
arth reached another milestone in
2016, but it's not one to celebrate.
The planet hit its highest average
temperature on record, setting a new
record for the third year in a row.
Whether you're interested in socalled "green" issues or not, environmental problems hound all of us.
Humanity faces a series of complex,
interrelated and, in some cases, existential sustainability challenges, said Julian
Dautremont-Smith, director of programs
at the Association for the Advancement of
Sustainability in Higher Education.
"These include climate destabilization
and its attendant consequences, resource
depletion and degradation, widening
inequalities, a growing population
and loss of biodiversity," he said.
We'll all experience some kind 2.
of environmental challenge in our 3.
lives: contaminants in our drinking
water, droughts, intense weather 4.
patterns or pollution emitted by 5.
So what does this mean for law 7.
There certainly is a place in the
legal market for environmental 9.
lawyers, whether they are working 10.
for nonprofits, government agencies or major corporations.
But also, law schools are making efforts
to be more environmentally friendly, and
students are showing an interest in just how
green their law schools are.
"Students want to attend institutions
that are showing leadership in addressing
these challenges and that are preparing their
graduates with knowledge and skills helping
to solve these challenges," DautremontSmith said.
While varying definitions of 'sustainability' abound, a report by the World
Commission of Environment and
Development defined it as "development
which meets the needs of current gen-
Lewis & Clark is committed to green
building practices, as evidenced by the
paul L. Boley Law Library and the solar
carport on its law school campus.
Lewis & Clark Law School
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
Harvard Law School
Vermont Law School
University of Florida Levin College of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Seattle University School of Law
University of California Hastings College of the Law
Wake Forest University School of Law
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
erations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
In short, leave Earth better than you
For schools, it's not just the right thing
to do; it's also smart business. Sustainable
practices can help cut costs, inspire
increased giving and research funding,
strengthen community relations and attract
top students and employees, DautremontSmith said.
The National Jurist surveyed law schools
to learn what they are doing to minimize
their environmental footprints and become
increasingly sustainable operations. We
The NaTioNal JurisT
asked about LEED certification, sustainability committees, mass transit and other
transportation options, food offerings,
waste streams and greenhouse gases.
We then weighted the responses based
on both the law school's environmental
curriculum (which accounted for about 30
percent of the weighting) and the school's
effort to become more environmentally sustainable.
Here's a look at five of the greenest law
schools in the nation:
1. Lewis & Clark Law School
Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland,
Ore., abuts a state park that is home to a
wide variety of wildlife.
"Students come to Lewis & Clark and
to Portland to study in an environment that
cares deeply about people and planet," said
Sustainability Manager Amy Dvorak. "Our
students are often very interested in what
we do as an institution to demonstrate these
ideals in our programs, policies and buildings."
The law school is certified as LEED
Silver, and future buildings will be designed