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WASHINGTON � In an unusual partnership, students in a new clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will handle environmental enforcement matters through the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Michigan. The clinic, which begins this month, will be supervised by Professor Lynn Dodge who has been appointed a special assistant U.S. Attorney. Third-year students, cleared by FBI background checks, will handle civil enforcement cases referred from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or the U.S. Coast Guard. The cases are brought in Federal District Court under such federal environmental statutes as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Calling it “a clinic with a real difference,” Dean Mark Gordon said, “The students will gain an in-depth understanding of how to litigate complex environmental statutes while obtaining insight into the workings of the Justice Department and various federal agencies.” Most environmental clinics at law schools, he noted, focus on citizen suits. Dodge is a former trial attorney with the Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Section. The clinic is expected to start with five students. The law school now offers seven clinics, including a Mobile Law Office that enables students to travel throughout the state.

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