preLaw - Spring 2017 - 8
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
Earth 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
Whether you're interested in so-called
"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
Lewis & Clark Law School
of environmental challenge in 1.
our lives: contaminants in our 2.
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
drinking water, droughts, intense 3.
Harvard Law School
weather patterns or pollution
Vermont Law School
emitted by vehicles.
University of Florida Levin College of Law
So what does this mean for 5.
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
There certainly is a place in 7.
Seattle University School of Law
the legal market for environUniversity of California Hastings College of the Law
mental lawyers, whether they are 8.
Wake Forest University School of Law
working for nonprofits, government agencies or major corpora- 10. Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
But also, law schools are makchose his law school.
ing efforts to be more environmentally
"Law students are more likely to care
friendly, and students are showing an inter- about whether their law school is sustainest in just how green their law schools are.
able if they understand what being 'sustain"Students want to attend institutions able' actually means to them, their commuthat are showing leadership in addressing nity and to the world at large," Owen said.
these challenges and that are preparing their
While varying definitions of 'sustaingraduates with knowledge and skills helping ability' abound, a report by the World
to solve these challenges," Dautremont- Commission of Environment and
Development defined it as "development
That's exactly why James Owen, now a which meets the needs of current genthird-year student at University of Utah S.J. erations without compromising the abilQuinney College of Law in Salt Lake City, ity 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,
Lewis & CLark is committed to green
building practices, as evidenced by the
Paul L. Boley Law Library. Future buildings
will be designed as LeeD Gold.
strengthen community relations and attract
top students and employees, DautremontSmith said.
Law schools can become more sustainable by constructing green buildings
or modifying older ones; taking actions
to reduce both resource use and emission
of greenhouse gases; providing improved
transportation options (access to mass transit, bike-sharing programs, campus buses
that run on alternative fuels); and decreas-