Dedicated students, innovative clinical instruction, front line policy work, and renowned professors with real-world expertise and passion for teaching are the features of environmental law at Harvard Law School. Together, we employ rigorous legal analysis and policy savvy to tackle today’s most pressing environmental challenges. Here, students have the opportunity to explore current environmental issues in the classroom, engage with experts at our special events and programs, and practice environmental law for real clients in the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. Since the establishment of the Environmental & Energy Law Program in 2012 (then called the Environmental Policy Initiative), Harvard Law School has offered a comprehensive approach to environmental problem-solving.


Professors Jody Freeman, Richard J. Lazarus, and Wendy B. Jacobs, along with many affiliated faculty and lecturers, bring unparalleled knowledge and experience to students interested in environmental law at Harvard. Professor Freeman is the Archibald Cox Professor at Harvard Law School and is a leading expert on administrative law and environmental law and teaches courses on energy and climate law. She is the founding director of Harvard Law School’s Environmental & Energy Law Program. Professor Lazarus is the Howard J. and Katherine W. Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he teaches environmental law, natural resources Law, Supreme Court advocacy, and torts. Professor Lazarus has represented the United States, state and local governments, and environmental groups in the United States Supreme Court in 40 cases and has presented oral argument in 13 of those cases. Professor Jacobs is a Clinical Professor and Director of the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. Her work has covered the gamut of compliance counseling, handling of complex permit applications and their related hearings and appeals, preparation of comments on federal and state rule makings, drafting of legislation, regulations and ordinances, administrative trials and appeals, litigation, negotiation and drafting of contracts, environmental due diligence and audits, and development of corporate risk management and environmental protection policies and manuals.

Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic

Under the leadership of Director and Clinical Professor Wendy B. Jacobs, the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic offers students an opportunity to do hands-on, meaningful, real-life and real-time environmental legal and policy work.

Clinic offerings include local, national and international projects covering the spectrum of environmental issues. Students may work off-campus with government agencies and nonprofit organizations, or they may work on-campus on cutting edge projects and case work under the supervision of Director Jacobs, Deputy Director and Senior Clinical Instructor Shaun Goho, and Clinical Instructor Aladdine Joroff.

Environmental & Energy Law Program

The Environmental & Energy Law Program influences policy discussions about environmental, climate, and energy issues. The EELP offers robust legal analysis and practical governance solutions that will move these discussions forward.

We identify environmental laws that underperform or need to adapt. We apply rigorous legal analysis to identify shortcomings and opportunities for change. Then, in partnership with experts from other sectors, we propose new and improved ways to achieve greater environmental protection.

We base our recommendations on rigorous academic research, but translate this research into straightforward, policy-relevant products, including training manuals, workshops, legislative and regulatory text, podcasts, and consulting services.

Harvard Environmental Law Review

The Harvard Environmental Law Review is the #1 environmental law journal in the United States, and has been published semi-annually by Harvard Law School students since 1976. HELR seeks to publish scholarship that significantly advances the field of environmental law, which we define broadly to include such areas as environmental justice; green infrastructure; energy; climate change; noise regulation; land use and property rights; toxic substances control; wildlife; natural resources; science and technology control; noise regulation; and workplace pollution.

Harvard Environmental Law Society

The Harvard Environmental Law Society (ELS) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization directed and staffed by students at Harvard Law School. ELS was founded in 1970 by three Harvard Law students who perceived a pressing need for the Law School, and the law in general, to respond more effectively to the nation’s environmental problems. To this end, they created an organization that was committed to preparing students to creatively and intelligently use the law in the service of the environment through participation in conferences, hosting speakers, taking trips and collaborating with groups throughout the University and the world in their effort to address environmental issues.