Wayne State University

Transnational Environmental Law Clinic

Wayne Law has partnered with the University of Windsor Law School to create North America’s first Transnational Environmental Law Clinic. The clinic teaches students the skills and strategies needed to affect environmental policy in all three branches of state and federal government. During classroom sessions, students learn about current environmental policy challenges and opportunities and explore these issues from multiple perspectives. In the clinical component, students participate in the lawmaking process by preparing policy papers and formal legislative testimony, commenting on rulemaking and permit decisions, and engaging in judicial review and enforcement litigation.

In all clinical matters, students work with the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, a separate 501(c)(3) organization, and on some selected matters may be involved in formally representing other community organizations and public interest groups.

Students take on a wide variety of regional and bilateral environmental legal issues such as air quality, environmental justice, Great Lakes water quality and quantity, invasive species and renewable energy. Transnational Environmental Law Clinic students have:

  • Provided legal assistance to state and national environmental organizations in stopping proposed new coal plants in Michigan
  • Developed a new clean energy funding mechanism for local governments
  • Drafted permit comments and testimony for community and environmental organizations
  • Advocated to protect water quality in the Great Lakes
  • Worked on a variety of pressing environmental justice concerns in Detroit, including water shut-offs for people without the ability to pay

Students must have completed or concurrently be taking Environmental Law (LEX 7231) or obtain advance consent of the instructor prior to enrollment. It is recommended that students also take Administrative Law (LEX 7006). An Advanced Transnational Environmental Law Clinic option is available for students who complete the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic. Interested students should contact Nick Schroeck at nschroeck@wayne.edu.

Wayne Law Clinics Student Application for Winter 2015 (Recommended deadline: Monday, Oct. 27) 

"The environmental law clinic provided a unique opportunity to do meaningful work on local, regional, national and international environmental issues. In the process of working on behalf of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, I learned a great deal and expanded my practical skills in valuable ways."

Elizabeth Gotham
Third-year Wayne Law student

Training the next generation of lawyers, advocates and leaders