The uOttawa- Environmental Law Clinic fills a major gap in Canada’s environmental capacity, by providing a long-needed public interest environmental law organization in the nation’s capital. It is well-positioned to serve the environmental law and policy interests of both local and national clientele, including environmental, aboriginal and community groups in both official languages.
A problem-based educational model
The uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic draws on the University’s strengths in environmental law, and related fields such as economics, science and public health, and on Ecojustice’s strengths in law, policy and science. Conceived as a problem-based educational model, the Clinic helps to train the next generation of environmental law and policy leaders, while encouraging students and faculty to become more involved in community service work.
Students get hands-on experience working on environmental issues, on behalf of community and non-profit clients, under the supervision of experienced lawyers and professors. The uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic is designed to give approximately fifteen students per semester a lead role in delivering environmental law services, providing students a range of experience and varying degrees of responsibility, including:
- Legal education and community outreach;
- Summary legal advice;
- Law reform advice and submissions;
- Representation before administrative bodies; and,
- Assisting lawyers in litigation
In addition to benefiting from the depth and experience of Ecojustice’s environmental lawyers, the Clinic benefits from the University of Ottawa’s significant depth in the area of environmental law and policy. The University’s Institute of the Environment specializes in interdisciplinary environmental research and public education. As well, the Law Faculty was selected as the home of the Global Academy of Environmental Law, established by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest environmental policy institution. Finally, there is the Centre for Environmental law and Global Sustainability. Thus, the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic is able to draw on the resources of the world’s largest network of environmental law and policy scholars and practitioners.
The Clinic was established with generous support from the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation , and the Law Foundation of Ontario.