As a conservation scientist motivated by preserving the ecological and social systems we are blessed with in BC, I can think of nothing more strategic than to work with world-class legal scholars and practitioners from the ELC. Their model is acutely applied, real-world, and making a difference via multiple policy pathways.
— Chris Darimont, Hakai Raincoast Professor in Geography, University of Victoria
The Clinic provided me with hugely valuable legal and policy research experience. It allowed me to work with brilliant environmental lawyers and organizations that I admire – before I even finished law school!
–Erin Gray, ELC Intensive Stream Clinic student (2013-14), ELC Executive (2012-15)
Through the ELC, I was given the chance to work with a client and issue I cared about, and keep the big picture in mind even while struggling through the necessary minutia of legal research. The Clinic itself is the perfect environment to synthesize ideals and practices, under the leadership of a lawyer who’s earned a career’s worth of wisdom doing just that. I enjoyed the mutual support, my fun and hardworking colleagues, and most of all the feeling that our efforts were appreciated and worthwhile.
— Simon Owen, ELC Clinic student (2004)
Through my involvement with the ELC Clinic, I had the opportunity to appear before the Forest Appeals Commission and make arguments on behalf of the Sierra Club of Canada. This was without a doubt the highlight of my legal education. It gave me a glimpse of what using the law as a tool in defence of social and environmental issues — which is what I thought I came to law school to do — looks like in practice. In the day-to-day of law school it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and to forget about the bigger ideals. Against that backdrop, my experience before the FAC was both reaffirming and inspiring about the possibilities that a legal career holds.
— Jeanette Ettel, ELC Clinic student (2004), Supreme Court of Canada Clerk (2005-06)
Looking for a challenge that will make you a better lawyer and probably a better person? Look no further than the ELC! Working with the ELC was far and away the best time I spent in the Fraser building; all of the instructors provide frequent and thoughtful feedback that can be so lacking in the traditional law courses. It is a privilege to work with and learn from dedicated and talented professors who have practical environmental experience to boot. To see and participate in this process has been so valuable, and it has given me a new appreciation for the volume and complexity of behind-the-scenes work that happens on ELC issues.
— Sam Harrison, ELC Clinic student (Spring 2014), ELC Executive (2014-15)
The clinic feels like one of those Pelican Brief-type movies that ends with the plucky, penniless fledgling lawyers preventing some corporate suit with a Nixonian five o’clock shadow from burying nuclear waste in the Garden of Eden. Somewhere, God smiles.
— Jack Knox, Columnist, Times Colonist
The ELC and its supporters should know that what you offer in support and research to small grass roots groups like CoalWatch is invaluable. Knowing that you and the staff at the ELC have “had our backs” over the past several years has meant a lot. In many ways, the ELC support has been a “game changer.”
— John Snyder, President, CoalWatch Comox Valley Society
I not only learned about several specific areas of law, but was given the chance to apply it to an issue affecting the community that I grew up in. This made the experience quite unlike other classes in that it brought the issue to life, rather than just being an objective exercise undertaken for a grade or credit. These experiences, as well as the passion demonstrated by the instructors and other students for furthering environmental law and effecting real change, are all reasons why I would recommend the ELC to fellow classmates and members of the public considering its services.
I found it very inspiring to work with the community organizations. Their passion and dedication to their efforts to make their communities and environment a more healthy place will serve as a valuable lesson for me on the impact that a few hard-working people can have when they care enough about what they do.
— Crystal Cook, ELC Clinic student (Fall 2014)
Students in the program are exceptionally talented and passionate about their mission. It’s a wonderful group to engage with, and inspiration and commitment is clear from its energetic leadership and students. Engaging with ELC greatly boosts our capacity and effectiveness as environmental advocates.
— Will Patric, Executive Director, Rivers Without Borders