Experiential Learning at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law

Environmental Law Centre

ELC is Kicking Butt

The Environmental Law Centre was created in 1997 by Professor Chris Tollefson as a non-profit incorporated society to operate the environmental law clinic program with the UVic Faculty of Law. The program was the first of its kind in Canada and the course for students became a permanent part of the Faculty of Law curriculum in 1998. It operates similarly to a law firm with four lawyers supervising 30 or more students every year. This work is supported by a full time paralegal and an articling student.

The ELC serves clients across the province, including the Suzuki Foundation, the Sierra Legal Defense Fund, and the Valhalla Wilderness Society, and has been involved in notable legal issues over the years such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline hearings and has acted as an intervener in cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Environmental Law Centre Students 2015

The ELC provides legal services to a variety of clients, primarily in relation to legal research and advocacy. This provides students with a variety of opportunities for experiential legal learning, including, writing memos, reports and handbooks, and assisting with the necessary administrative functions of running the Centre. Over the years, the ELC has also hosted conferences, workshops and published reform papers and citizen handbooks.

New Environmental Law Centre going strong: Students tackle legal research on green issues

The goal of the ELC is to be a training ground for future environmental lawyers working in the public interest, and to provide representation for communities, non-profit organizations, and First Nations in advocating for environmental issues. In 2007, almost one-third of UVic Law students had been involved with the ELC at some point in their degree.

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