The National Jurist - Spring 2017 - 16
with the goal of obtaining Gold certification.
"Technology, building codes and our
understanding of green building approaches have increased to the point that LEED
Gold is a very achievable standard," Dvorak
said. "Oftentimes we are exceeding this level
of green building on our projects and have
begun to explore other opportunities such
as passive house and net zero energy."
Situated between two large urban parks,
the campus drains into two watersheds, so
the school obtained Salmon-Safe certification to protect the habitat of the fish associated with the area. This included a threeyear invasive plant species removal project.
Law students will find free electric vehicle charging stations on campus and parking options that include a solar carport.
There are also facilities for those cycling to
campus, and a new bike-sharing program is
2. University of Utah
Students at University of Utah have plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature in the
state's five national parks and 33 million
acres of public land. Depending on the season, skiing, whitewater rafting, backpacking and mountain biking are options for
Of course, studying is also on students'
minds. The law school is home to the
Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources
and the Environment, and many of its students are interested in sustainability.
Aiming to practice what it teaches, University of Utah obtained LEED
Platinum certification for its new law school
building, which opened in 2015. Elements
include a healthy and breathable building envelope; passive solar orientation and
design; a location geared to foster use of
mass transit (it is located near light rail and
bus stops); a solar shade canopy on the terrace of the green roof; special windows that
deter birds from hitting them; and a graywater treatment system that uses recycled
water to flush toilets.
The law school's Green Team - made
up of students, staff and faculty who
encourage sustainability - helped during
the building's design.
Electric vehicle charging stations are
available, as is bicycle storage. About 60
percent of the school's food purchases and
catering are local and organic.
3. Harvard Law School
Students at Harvard Law School in
Cambridge, Mass., are surrounded by
buildings with LEED certification. The
university as a whole has more LEED certified buildings than any other institution of
higher education in the world, according to
the U.S. Green Building Council.
The university also has met its goal of
reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30
percent since 2006.
The law school's Green Living Program,
which began in 2005, promotes sustainable
living in residence halls and throughout the
"Green living representatives connect
with their peers about energy and water
conservation and waste reduction through
activities, educational campaigns and competitions," said spokeswoman Michelle
Sustainability programs provide a way
for first-year law students to meet their
classmates. For example, they can compete
in a Green Cup Challenge, which Deakin
said is "designed to teach or share a sustainability tip that can be easily incorporated
into the student's everyday life on campus
Car- and bike-sharing options, access to
mass transit, and electric vehicle charging
stations are all part of the campus experience.
4. Vermont Law School
"Lead by example" is a mantra of students
at Vermont Law School in South Royalton,
Vt. The Environmental Law Center is
housed in Debevoise Hall, an 1892 building that once served as the town's K-12
school but is now LEED Silver certified.
The revamped building still features original blackboards and furniture made by local
It also has a composting toilet system,
which uses just 14 gallons of water per day
and has become a conversation starter for
"Many of our students love to tell outsiders about the composting toilets," said
Maryellen Apelquist, director of communications. "They have even woven them into
speeches during commencement - with a
mixture of amusement and pride."
Oakes Hall, the law school's main classroom building, provides heating and lighting only on demand, and it has a solar array
and car-charging stations nearby.
Most food at the campus cafe is locally
sourced and organic, and food scraps are
donated to local farmers. The school is also
reducing the number of trash receptacles on
campus, investing in reusable dining ware,
and using the money saved for future green
The NaTioNal JurisT
Vermont Law School's Debevoise Hall
The Environmental Law Center serves
as a hub for activities ranging from clinics
and classes to special programs in which
students and faculty work together on issues
of climate change, sustainable agriculture,
water, environmental taxation, land use and
5. University of Florida
Student members of the Sustainability
Committee at University of Florida
Levin College of Law in Gainesville, Fla.,
evaluated the entire law school campus,
considering things such as where recycling
bins and printers were located; the types
of faucets, soap and paper towel dispensers
that were used; the use of automatic
lighting; and possibilities for promoting
more sustainable practices in renovation,
said professor Alyson Craig Flournoy,
former director of the Environmental and
Land Use Law Program.
The sustainability audit resulted in so
many positive responses and such strong
student engagement that the administration
decided to pursue enhanced sustainability
on an ongoing basis, Flournoy said.
A composting program has been implemented in restrooms for paper towels, and
there are plans for the program to expand to
accept organic waste such as coffee grounds
and banana peels.
Somewhat exotic experiential learning
opportunities are also available. Students
may participate in a study abroad program
in Costa Rica, where they join young lawyers and others from Latin America and
the Caribbean to learn about law, policy
and professional practice associated with
tropical conservation and sustainable development. A shorter field course over spring
break explores marine and coastal policy in
Florida and the Caribbean, Flournoy said.
Students in the Environmental and
Land Use Law Society manage a woods restoration project in which they remove invasive plants so native vegetation can thrive.
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