Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic

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Community Advisory Board | Foundation Support | IEC News

Faculty: Maxine Lipeles, Beth Martin, Elizabeth Hubertz, Peter Goode and Ken Miller 

An Overview

Established in 2000, the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic (IEC) is an interdisciplinary venture with a dual emphasis on experiential learning and community service.

The IEC represents non-profit groups, communities, and individuals who are pursuing legal action to protect the environment and community health but who cannot afford the legal representation and scientific expertise this requires. While providing pro bono legal and technical services to environmental and community organizations in the greater St. Louis area, the IEC simultaneously trains law students to handle complex legal cases, enables non-law students to apply their specialized fields to legal and policy issues, and teaches all students to communicate effectively and work productively in an interdisciplinary setting.

The clinic handles a wide range of matters, both in terms of the issues involved (such as air and water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, lead poisoning, among other issues), as well as the nature of the matter. Some matters involve adversarial proceedings before federal, state, or local administrative bodies or courts, others call upon the clinic to evaluate a problem and devise a range of options for the client to use in addressing it; still others require clinic students to prepare and present educational materials to community groups. Click Here to see an example of how the Clinic serves its clients.

Three environmental attorneys, two environmental engineers, and an environmental scientist teach in the IEC. Click Here for complete faculty and staff listing. Students from the Schools of Law, Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Medicine, as well as the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and Olin Business School, work on IEC cases. The interdisciplinary structure of the clinic - involving students from several schools of the university in advocacy representation of clients - is unique among environmental law clinics. The interdisciplinary student teams enjoy front-line responsibility under faculty supervision for environmental law cases and projects of local, regional, and national importance.

Individuals with environmental and community health expertise, as well as a personal and professional commitment to environmental justice and community health, provide guidance to the IEC by serving on the Community Advisory Board. Board members represent community interests, the medical/public health field, law, and environmental engineering and science.

Read about the Clinic's victory for communities battling lead poisoning.