05/16/2024 - EELP News

$15 million gift to launch Emmett Environmental Law Center and an environmental law moot court institute at Harvard Law

Today Harvard Law School announced a $15 million gift from alumnus Dan Emmett ’64 and the Emmett Foundation. The transformative gift will establish the Emmett Environmental Law Center at Harvard Law School, which will bring together and bolster academic offerings in environmental and energy law, the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, and the research- and policy-focused Environment and Energy Law Program (EELP). It will also support new initiatives — such as a first-of-its-kind environmental law moot court institute and a fund for student fieldwork.

“Dan’s gift is critical to creating a legacy program here at Harvard Law School that will, in perpetuity, support our supremely talented team of staff attorneys, fellows, and other experts who deliver such huge benefits to our students and make such a significant difference in the world,” said EELP Founding Director Jody Freeman LL.M ’91 S.J.D. ’95.

The environmental moot court institute will enable attorneys to practice and develop their arguments before Harvard’s world-class environmental law experts. It will be the only moot court focused exclusively on environmental law, particularly litigation at the federal district court and appellate court levels. The moot court institute will also provide current Harvard Law students with new opportunities to help prepare for, observe, and provide feedback to expert practitioners as they practice their arguments.

Professor Richard Lazarus ’79 added that legal education is critically important to environmental law’s success. “For environmental law to work, it must persist and adapt over the long term to ever-changing circumstances,” he said. “Only with the introduction into the legal profession of succeeding generations of the most talented and creative environmental lawyers can that happen.”

Read Harvard Law Today’s Q&A with Freeman, Lazarus, EELP Director Carrie Jenks, and clinic Faculty Director Andrew Mergen about the impacts the gift will have on students, faculty, staff, and environmental law practitioners nationwide.