Law 719 - Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic

Cara Horowitz

Cara Horowitz

Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Co-Director, UCLA Environmental Law Clinic
B.A. Yale, 1996
J.D. UCLA, 2001
UCLA Faculty Since 2008
Course Description:

The course is designed to train students in lawyering by exposing them to actual environmental law cases.  Under faculty supervision, students represent environmental and environmental justice organizations on a variety of matters, usually in collaboration with other experienced counsel.  The clinic typically works on matters involving environmental protection(including climate change), environmental justice, land use, and natural resources issues, and has worked on other issues as well (for example, defense of the first amendment rights of environmental activists).   In any given semester, clinic students will typically work on cases involving some, but not all, of these issues.  The course teaches transferable skills that will be applicable across a broad range of practice areas, including practice areas outside the subject matter of clinic cases.  While some clinic projects are litigation-oriented, many projects involve administrative law or policy advocacy. Through classroom study, students learn the substantive law and advocacy skills necessary to work effectively on the cases, and grapple as well with issues of judgment and ethics in the practice of law.

Depending upon the needs of the clinic’s cases, case work may include any of the following: preparation of memos analyzing law or facts, motion drafting, administrative comment drafting, oral argument, trial preparation, negotiations, client interviewing and counseling, working with experts, administrative representation and advocacy, fact investigation, discovery preparation, and preparation of policy-oriented papers. Class sessions will include training and exercises to improve practical lawyering skills.

The course will be graded, and enrollment is limited to 12 students.  Although prior environmental law courses, the course in administrative law, and the course in evidence may be helpful, they are not prerequisites or corequisites.

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course, students should: 

  • understand and have practice applying the conceptual underpinnings of administrative legal advocacy  
  • understand and have some experience navigating the conflicts of values and interests that inform environmental and environmental justice advocacy and policy 
  • apply basic communication skills and techniques used in working with clients 
  • have some experience using judgment in lawyering for clients   
  • understand and have some experience navigating ethical and practical issues (including decisions about strategy and tactics) specific to cause lawyering and environmental lawyering 
  • be able to evaluate and edit their own and others' legal writing 
  • be familiar with and have practice applying specialized legal research strategies relevant to environmental and environmental justice advocacy
  • understand and have some practice creating advocacy strategies to meet client goals


Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Cara Horowitz / Julia Stein 21S 719 LEC 1 TR 3:20 PM - 5:20 PM 6.0 No No
  Experiential course enrollment through separate process; deadline: Noon on 11/6/20. See ENROLL.LAW.UCLA.EDU. Early drop deadline: 5:00pm on 1/22/21.