The Chester E. McCarthy Classroom Complex on the LC law school graduate campus. Photo by Mackenzie Bath.

Law School Rated Number One in Environmental Law

Lewis & Clark’s Northwestern School of Law was in the news, as it was recently named the number one school for Environmental Law in U.S. News Magazine in March 2019, tied with Pace University in White Plains, New York. The school prides itself on providing students with intimate, hands-on education, with small student-faculty ratios (6.7:1) and numerous chances for personal and intellectual growth, maturity and curiosity.

These opportunities were highlighted in the magazine’s overview explaining the ranking.

“The Lewis & Clark College Northwestern School of Law is an institution in Portland, Ore., that emphasizes flexibility,” the magazine’s overview said. “Lewis & Clark College law students can complete their degrees on full- or part-time schedules, can take courses during the day or evening and can focus in legal areas including global law, Indian law and more. Among specialty programs, the institution has a high law school ranking in environmental law. For hands-on training, students can get involved in clinical opportunities, including the Animal Law Clinic and the International Environmental Law Project, as well as through externships and clerkships.”

Faculty scholar and professor of law, Michael Blumm reacted to Northwestern’s ranking.

“The top ranking from U.S. News is no surprise, as we’ve been ranked in the top two for many years, often top-ranked,” Blumm said. “I believe the ranking reflects the fact that we have stellar students, comprehensive course offering by great teachers and the best suite of clinical offerings in the country. We also help students to get great legal experiences outside the classroom, such as through our Public Interest Law Project.”

Janice Weis, the Associate Dean and Director of the Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Law Program, expressed excitement over the U.S. News ranking.

“We are very excited about the ranking as we are the oldest environmental law program in the country and we started the first environmental law review in the country in 1970,” Weis said “We believe this ranking recognizes our robust curriculum in environmental, natural resources and energy law, outstanding faculty and successful alums with jobs around the world in many facets of environmental law. We also strive to be innovative, adding classes with current relevance such as climate change and renewable energy. We also have two environmental clinics that are highly respected — Earthrise Law Center, which litigates domestic cases, and the International Environmental Law Project, which addresses international issues as well as the Green Energy Institute which serves as a hub for renewable energy policies in the region.”

In addition, many of the law school’s other offerings were taken into account in this ranking. For instance, the research and training opportunities at the Center for Animal Law Studies, the National Crime Victim Law Institute and the Natural Resources Law Institute received praise and recognition. The clubs and organizations of the school were also given a shoutout, specifically the softball league and Latino Law Society.

“Students may also seek out involvement opportunities in the school’s clubs and organizations, from the Latino Law Society to the softball league,” the magazine said. “Law reviews at the Lewis & Clark College Northwestern School of Law include Animal Law, Environmental Law, and the Lewis & Clark Law Review.”

Lewis & Clark’s Northwestern School of Law seeks to provide students with an expansive and enriching education.a flexible and hands-on education, as well as abundance of clubs, programs, and clinics.

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