The Gonzaga Environmental Law Clinic provides legal representation to not-for-profit environmental programs in the Inland Northwest, with a focus on representing the Spokane Riverkeeper and other area Keeper programs.
The Environmental Law Clinic was founded in 2009 by Professor Mike Chappell, who, after spending years in California litigating environmental cases to stop illegal water polluters, decided to relocate his family to Spokane.
While they are enrolled in the Clinic, students will represent Spokane Riverkeeper, or other applicable organizations, on Clean Water Act citizen suit enforcement actions. For Clinic students, the outdoors is now more than a scenic setting; it’s also a legal laboratory, an opportunity to apply class work to real-world legal challenges.
Students may also appear on behalf of a client in front of regulatory agencies, or provide written comments, to protect the River and forward the mission of the environmental group.
Students interact with clients and members of the organizations, they meet with regulators and dischargers, and they conduct investigations in conjunction with experts to determine whether facilities, construction projects, and municipalities are in compliance with the Clean Water Act.
Details of the Clinic
Credits: 3 credits per semester, with possible increase to 6 credits per the supervising attorney’s authorization.
Eligibility: 30 credit hours of law study, with preference given to those who have completed 60 credits of law study, including Evidence and Professional Responsibility.
Spring & Fall
3 credit students: 12 hours/week average
6 credit students: 24 hours/week average
3 credit students: 18 hours/week average
6 credit students: 36 hours/week average