Thanks to the vision and dedication of many students, faculty, community members and foundations, the ELC Society has provided pro bono legal services to a wide range of community groups, conservation organizations and First Nations across the province and beyond since 1996.
The original goals of the ELC were to engage in community outreach and provide legal research to environmental groups and the public. To support these goals, students created a Committee to oversee office operations, raise and administer funds and ensure that projects complied with a set of principles.
In 1996, the ELC became both a credit course (the Clinic) and an incorporated society. The ELC ran for years solely on the steam of student volunteers and a diverse, experienced Board of Directors. Seed funding from the Law Foundation of BC, the Bullitt Foundation, Tides Canada Foundation, Ted McWhinney and others responded allowed the clinic to hire a legal director and administrator. This growth in the clinic attracted funding from the Tula Foundation, which supported ELC core operations for 10 years.
From community research projects to legal representation, growing through its network of volunteers, students and individuals from the legal and environmental community, the ELC shows no signs of slowing down as it approaches its 20th anniversary in 2016. Twenty years may not be old for a tree, but it’s a pretty decent age for a non-profit public interest environmental law organization!
Thanks to our donors and the UVic’s Faculty of Law for continuing to help us in providing communities with the legal assistance they could not otherwise obtain, and in training the next generation of public interest environmental lawyers in BC.