The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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Clinical Education at UT Law

Real Cases. Real Experience.

Environmental Clinic

Additional Course Information

Course Description

Taught by Kelly Haragan

6 credits (pass/fail) — offered Fall, Spring

The Clinic is open to students who have completed their first two semesters.

Students must register for Law 397C and 397D, for a total of six credits.

Students are required to complete 12 hours of clinical work per week during the semester in addition to attending class. Class meets for two hours each week.


Students in the Environmental Clinic work to improve environmental quality and public health in low-income communities in Texas. The Clinic’s projects include cases in federal and state courts, as well as permitting and rulemaking proceedings before administrative agencies. Our clients are primarily low-income individuals and communities who are exposed to high cumulative levels of pollution.

Recent cases have included:

  • Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act citizen suits for illegal pollution,
  • a National Environmental Policy Act enforcement action regarding the construction of a new highway through a low-income neighborhood,
  • Contested case hearings regarding new pollution permits, and
  • Comments and litigation regarding federal Environmental Protection Agency rulemakings.
Students work as part of a team, under faculty supervision, and directly participate in litigation and advocacy. Student clinical work includes:
  • Communicating effectively with clients, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and environmental agencies;
  • Conducting factual investigation and analysis;
  • Drafting memos, pleadings and motions, discovery documents, and comments on federal rulemakings;
  • Assisting with federal trials and administrative contested case hearings; and
  • Crafting creative solutions, including settlement proposals, to reduce pollution exposure and protect public health.
Students also participate in a seminar in which they discuss substantive environmental laws and federal procedure, administrative law practice, and the ethical and social issues involved in representing low-income clients on environmental matters. As part of the seminar, students also practice their research, writing, and public speaking skills.

The Clinic is graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must complete and document approximately fifteen hours of clinical work per week, in addition to class meetings and preparation time. The clinic class meets for approximately two hours per week. In addition, team meetings will be scheduled for one hour per week. There is no prerequisite for the Clinic.

For additional information regarding the clinic, please contact: Kelly Haragan (kharagan@law.utexas.edu, 512-232-2654).