About the Public Interest Law Clinic
The Public Interest Law Clinic was founded in 2015 by a large and generous donation from the Peacock Family Foundation. Since its inception, the Clinic has been dedicated to the advancement of systemic change in public law and policy.
As a University Law Clinic, we work closely with the Faculty of Law to provide experiential learning opportunities for JD students while advocating for environmental and public interest issues that shape the communities in which we live.
The Clinic operates on a project basis. Potential files are referred to us from trusted professionals within the legal community, academic community, and civil society organizations. Our projects are then screened by the Clinic's advisory committee and are only selected if they align with the scope of the Clinic's mandate.
The Public Interest Law Clinic's work is guided by our vision, mission, and objective.
Our work focuses on matters of public interest, such as environmental stewardship, equitable access to justice, and government accountability.
Our litigation work generally focuses on energy and environmental issues. Our completed and current projects involve working with clients who are seeking to enhance government transparency in environmental stewardship, hold governments to account on climate commitments, and enforce legal measures to protect endangered species and the environment.
Legislative and Policy Reform
Our legislative and policy reform work generally focuses on access to justice, transparency in government, animal welfare, and environmental protection.
Access to Information
Many of our projects include the need for access to information held by government departments, and engagement with legal process seeking the release of this information.
How has the Clinic evolved over the years?
It started as a small public interest/environmental law clinic in 2010 that I offered to students as a clinical course. 3 JDs enrolled in that initial pilot project, but it soon grew to 12-15 students annually. In 2015, we attracted a donor willing to provide funding to institutionalize various different public interest-oriented clinics here at the law school under one overarching umbrella – and thus emerged the Public Interest Law Clinic as we know it today.