preLaw - Spring 2017 - 9
UniverSity of Utah opened a new
building for its law school in 2015. it is
steps away from light rail and bus stops,
and it incorporates lots of natural lighting.
ing the distance food must travel from farm
to cafeteria table.
preLaw surveyed law schools to learn
what they are doing to minimize their environmental footprints and become increasingly sustainable operations. We asked
about LEED certification, sustainability
committees, mass transit and other transportation options, food offerings, waste
streams and greenhouse gases.
preLaw 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
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.
"One of the biggest projects we
embarked upon as part of this process was
a three-year invasive plant species removal
across our campus," Dvorak said.
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
The law school offers a J.D. and
an LL.M. in Environmental, Natural
Resources and Energy Law, as well as a
joint J.D./LL.M. that can be completed in
less time than it would take to earn both
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, said
Dana Wilson, director of marketing.
Aiming to practice what it teaches, University of Utah obtained LEED
Platinum certification for its new law school
building, which opened in 2015. 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), and
lots of natural lighting are all elements of
the facility. More features have been added,
including a solar shade canopy on the terrace of the green roof, special windows that
deter birds from hitting them, and a gray-