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“In no other political and social movement has litigation played such an important and dominant role. Not even close.” — David Sive, a pioneer in the field for environmental law Since the mid-1960s, when a federal appeals court allowed the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference to challenge a hydroelectric plant planned for Storm King Mountain in New York’s Hudson River Valley, environmental law has been a catalyst in bringing ecological values to the forefront of American life. Environmental litigation has been key to preserving threatened natural resources and protecting people’s environmental rights. It has also played a strategic role in reforming the basis of our civil society. Lawsuits have protected millions of acres of wilderness and hundreds of endangered species. They have helped improve air and water quality. They have forced polluting companies to clean up their discharges. Environmental litigation forces the government to do its job and corporations to obey the law. “I can’t imagine a more rewarding career. We’re fighting the good fight, representing the best people in the world, doing work that is as fascinating and rewarding as it is necessary.” — Mike Sherwood, Earthjustice staff attorney since 1974 Earthjustice has played a leading role in shaping the development of environmental law. Founded in 1971 as the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, the organization has achieved many landmark legal victories. In an early case involving Mineral King valley in the Sierra Nevada, the organization won confirmation by the U.S. Supreme Court of the principle established in Scenic Hudson: That citizens have a broad right to take environmental concerns into courts of law. Earthjustice is one of several nonprofit, public-interest, environmental law firms that represent — without charge — hundreds of public-interest clients, large and small, throughout the United States. Earthjustice works through the courts to safeguard public lands, national forests, parks, and wilderness areas; to reduce air and water pollution; to prevent toxic contamination; to preserve endangered species and wildlife habitat; and to achieve environmental justice. Earthjustice has nine offices across the country (in Juneau, Ala.; Bozeman, Mont.; Seattle; Honolulu; Denver; Tallahassee, Fla.; New Orleans; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.), as well as an International Program and a Policy and Legislation Program. It employs nearly 50 attorneys full time. We find it gratifying that, even though they could command far higher salaries in commercial law firms, our lawyers have remarkable longevity: The average tenure of staff attorneys is more than 10 years. To give young attorneys the chance to participate in Earthjustice’s work, an associate attorney program was launched several years ago, enabling associates — some fresh from law school, but most with two or three years’ experience in commercial firms or as clerks in federal courts — to be on staff for two years. In June 2000, Earthjustice merged with the organization Earthlaw and began operating the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Denver College of Law and a comparable clinic at Stanford Law School in Stanford, Calif. These clinics train law students in the nuts and bolts of environmental litigation. The students draft motions and legal memoranda, conduct legal research, and participate in meetings with clients — on real cases. Each of the clinics accepts approximately 10 students each year. With the advent of a new administration in Washington, we anticipate a surge in requests for representation, very likely as intervenors to defend, for example, the Clinton administration’s visionary decision to put much of the national forest system off limits to new road-building in places that are currently roadless. It promises to be an active four years. At least. Buck Parker is executive director of Earthjustice. For more information about opportunities at Earthjustice and their two law clinics, visit their Web site at www.earthjustice.org.

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