Transforming the World, Transforming Legal Education

A Message from Director Heather Brinton

Those of us who engage in the field of environmental and natural resources law at the University of Oregon are profoundly aware of how 21st-century circumstances are forcing an evolution in environmental law, how we practice it, and how we teach it.

An environmental law program for this transformative age needs to be serious about innovative curricular offerings that are both interdisciplinary in nature while focusing on practical skills development that stretches between the lawyer’s work in law-making and law-applying. We need new and creative solutions rooted in deep theoretical thinking about the law and its contribution to finding meaningful solutions to our environmental problems. We need to focus on keeping law school affordable, providing a way for students to minimize their debt burden. Most important, we need programs that inspire students to embrace the role of the lawyer in a democracy, to focus on our obligation to advance the common good.

As you read this newsletter, you will see how we continually strive to reach these goals, and you will understand why I feel privileged to serve as the director of Oregon’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. Here at the University of Oregon, we are focused on how we prepare our next generation of environmental attorneys to engage themselves in the law to support sustainability on Earth. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions as we continue our work.