About the ELC Associates Program

Launched in September 2007, the ELC Associates Program connects lawyers across the province who are either practicing or interested in public interest environmental law. ELC Associates share knowledge with each other and ELC Clinic students and collaborate on key environmental and resource development issues throughout the province.

Associates are appointed for a two-year term, during which time they work with the ELC to provide access to public interest environmental law services. Lawyers who have participate as Associates found the program to be beneficial for both their law practices and professional development.

Examples of recent ELC Associates meeting topics include:

  • Protecting Indigenous Cultural Heritage Resources on Private Land
  • Revitalizing Indigenous Laws and Legal Orders
  • Public Interest Environmental Law & Ethics
  • Proving Public Access to Nature
  • Recognition of the Right to a Healthy and Sustainable Environment
  • Recent Changes to BC Forestry Law — An Environmental Lens
  • The Law of Protest
  • Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
  • What’s Working in Environmental Law?
  • Local Government Law and the Environment
  • Mining Law Reform
  • Water Sustainability
  • The Use of Qualified Professionals in Natural Resource Decision Making in BC

ELC Associates Program Application Process

We are currently working with Cohort 9 Associates and will begin accepting applications for Cohort 10 in summer 2025; however, we welcome expressions of interest at any time.

To apply, we ask for the following information:

  • Name and contact information, including email, phone number and firm address;
  • Call year;
  • Areas of practice;
  • Scope of public interest environmental law to date or an expression of your interest in the Associates Program; and
  • Short bio

For more information, see our FAQ below (or download the ELC Associates Program Fact Sheet).

ELC Associates Program FAQ

What is the Environmental Law Centre Associates Program?

The ELC Associates Program started in September 2007 at the University of Victoria with funding from the Law Foundation of BC. The purpose of the ELC Associates Program is to enhance the capacity of the public interest environmental law Bar in BC while enriching learning opportunities for ELC students through a unique collaboration between the Bar and the ELC Clinic. Since 2007, the ELC has coordinated Program activities for eight cohorts of ELC Associates. We are currently recruiting Associates for Cohort 9.

Who can be an Environmental Law Centre Associate?

Any lawyer practicing in BC with an interest in public interest environmental law. Each cohort of ELC Associates will be selected based on a variety of factors including demonstrated interest and/or expertise in public interest environmental law; mentor role potential; geographic distribution; and diversity/length of experience.

What are the expectations of Environmental Law Centre Associates?

ELC Associates may provide mentoring and advice, as appropriate, to Clinic students working on cases or projects within their area of expertise and/or in their geographic region. With approval of the ELC Board, Associates may also be able to secure student assistance for public interest environmental cases. Associates will stay abreast of developments in public interest environmental law through regular videoconferences hosted by the ELC, and through networking with other Associates. These videoconferences are approved Continuing Professional Development Credits by The Law Society of BC.

What are the benefits of participating in the Program?

Benefits include:

  • Staying current with emerging environmental law practice issues;
  • Networking with other lawyers engaged in public interest environmental law;
  • Receiving advice from knowledgeable colleagues;
  • Obtaining student assistance on ongoing public interest environmental cases or files;
  • Working with highly motivated students that share similar practice-area interests; and
  • Building the capacity of the public interest environmental bar in BC.

What do former Associates say about the Program?

I have gone back to the CLE materials and teleconference backgrounders for information when faced with a client issue. They are a helpful starting point in my practice.

The background materials for the teleconferences were concise, to the point, and directed the discussion very well. Even for areas in which I have no knowledge, the teleconferences were excellent. It was really helpful to hear from the other lawyers because they are leaders in their fields.

A huge benefit of the Program is becoming acquainted with lawyers who have addressed similar issues and who are willing to have me call them for moral support and legal assistance. They often suggest alternative strategies and novel legal arguments.

The networking opportunities were my favourite part. It was very valuable to have an opportunity to talk with like-minded people. It makes the possibility of doing environment work when it comes up in my work more likely because I have other lawyers I can consult with and bounce ideas off of.

I was able to get outside of my usual files and get a better appreciation for these other intellectually fascinating issues that I have no acquaintance with. I found it useful as a professional to observe and take mental notes on the issues presented.

If you are interested in becoming an ELC Associate, please contact Holly Pattison at elc[at]