Environmental Law Section

News from the Section

Student Negotiation Competition Winners Announced

Congratulations to this year's top 10 schools for the 18th annual Student Negotiation Competition:

  1. Santa Clara University School of Law
  2. UCLA School of Law
  3. Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  4. Loyola Law School
  5. UC Berkeley School of Law
  6. Lincoln Law School of Law
  7. UC Davis School of Law
  8. Empire College of Law
  9. Western State College of Law
  10. Loyola Law School

The competition took place in March 2017 at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Click here for more info.

2017 Inland Empire Your Voice
Land, Air and Water: Navigating Complex Environmental Issues in the Inland Empire

Presented by the Environmental Law Section

Friday, May 5, 2017
Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506

Earn 5.5 Hours Participatory MCLE Credit

You can now REGISTER ONLINE for this program.

Keynote Address by Assembly Member Jose Medina, District 61

Panels on:

  • Living the Good Life: The Intersection of Land Use, Climate Change, and Toxic Air Contaminants
  • The Salton Sea in 2017: A Critical Year for the Long-Term
    Environmental Health of California’s Largest Inland Sea
  • It’s Raining, It’s Pouring. Are We Ready For Storing?

Program Schedule | Essential Information | Printable Brochure   
Mail / Fax Reg. Form | Online Registration

Get all the details, including panel speakers, by clicking here!

2017 California Public Records & Open Meetings Conference

Presented by the Public Law Section with the participation of the Environmental Law and Litigation Sections 

Friday, May 19, 2017
UC Berkeley School of Law—Booth Auditorium
2770 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Earn 6 hours MCLE credit, including one hour in Legal Ethics!


Registration deadline is Friday, May 12, 2017.

Program Schedule | Essential Info | Printable Brochure | Mail/Fax Reg. Form 

Click here for all the details, including sponsors and speakers!


Call for Nominations for 2017 Environmental Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award

Due Date for Nominations Extended to April 17th!

In 2014, the State Bar’s Environmental Law Section established a new award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Environmental Law.  The award recognizes environmental lawyers who have contributed to the field of environmental law over a sustained period, achieved excellence in the practice of environmental law, and provided legal services with high ethics and collegiality.  To be eligible for the award, a person must have at least five years of experience as a California environmental lawyer. 

In 2014, the inaugural award was given posthumously to Professor Joseph Sax.  In 2015, the award was given to Clem Shute.  Last year, Johanna Wald received the award. 

In 2017, the award ceremony will occur on Saturday, October 21st at the Yosemite Environmental Law Conference. 

The nomination form explains the nomination process and required submissions.  Please note that we strongly encourage that nomination packages include at least three letters of recommendation to ensure that the nominee’s qualities are well described and are understood by the Executive Committee when evaluating nominations.

So please take a moment to nominate your colleagues and friends in the California environmental law bar who have contributed so much to our field. For more information, see Lifetime Achievement Award.

Environmental Law Update - April-September 2016

We are pleased to provide the Environmental Law Update, with recent judicial, legislative and regulatory developmetns in the area of Environmental Law, in our Members Only Area.

April - May - June - July - August - September 2016

It's Easy To Be Green: How To Sign Onto The State Bar Eco-Pledge -- And Get Recognized at the Yosemite Conference!

Lawyers for a Sustainable CaliforniaHave you wondered what more your office can do to reduce energy and resource demands? Law offices in all sectors are taking steps to be more sustainable in their operations. Saving energy and resources not only supports sustainability goals, impressing clients and elevates employee morale. These efforts can also translate into significant cost savings for the operation.

If your firm or law office is working to become more sustainable, or wants to do so, in just three easy steps your law practice can sign onto the California State Bar Eco-Pledge. Once it does, your organization can use the State Bar Eco-Pledge Logo on firm materials to demonstrate this commitment to sustainability.

Step 1: Review the Voluntary State Bar of California Lawyers Eco-Pledge and Model Law Office Sustainability Guidelines. Adopted by the Board of Governors, these Guidelines include a list of specific means to conserve, reuse, recycle and reduce the use of supplies, energy and natural resources. The Guidelines cover a range of issues, including the following:

  • Educate Staff
  • Reduce paper use
  • Use sustainable service providers
  • Eliminate disposable items
  • Reuse/recycle equipment and supplies
  • Reduce toxic chemicals
  • Use and encourage “green” meetings
  • Reduce water usage
  • Reduce energy use
  • Develop sustainable IT practices
  • Purchase sustainable products
  • Provide commuter incentives
  • Engage in sustainability related public service consumption
  • Participate in programs that encourage best practices
  • Carpool, bike and public transit
  • Recycle paper

Step 2: Assign someone at the firm to take the lead on implementing the policy (as is feasible for the individual firm) and commit to educate employees about the policy.

Step 3: Take the Eco-Pledge! Fill out the simple one-page form and submit it to the Environmental Law Section.

The Eco-Pledge is voluntary and there are no inspections or compliance audits, but the simple act of putting someone at the firm in charge of the issue, educating employees about the measures that have been implemented, and revisiting the commitment annually will translate into increased sustainability of your operations in addition to cost savings to your firm.

The nearly 40 law firms that have already taken the Eco-Pledge are listed on our Section website. In addition, we will be providing special recognition at this year’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite to all the firms that have taken the Eco-Pledge and determined that sustainability is core to their business. We urge those offices that are interested in sustainability to sign up now and receive recognition at the Conference. You too can be green. Take the initiative and take the State Bar Eco-Pledge!

In Case You Missed It -- Past Webinars Available Online!

Did you know that the Section’s Webinars are available at low cost to view on line? Have you ever wanted CLE credit on topics that actually interest you? Was there a presentation you wanted to attend but just couldn’t make your schedule cooperate? If so, never fear! Almost 40 (and that number is growing) Environmental Law Section Webinars are available on line, including titles such as "CEQA 101 -- Learn the Basics!", "Beyond 2020: How Will California Meet its 2050 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals?" and many others. See Environmental Law Section Courses in the Online Catalog to find a program of interest to you.

Thank You for Being a Section Member - Here's 6 Hours MCLE in Legal Ethics!

We're very grateful for your membership in the Section. As a token of that, we're offering six hours of self-study MCLE credit in the area of Legal Ethics. The programs are posted in our Member's Only Area.

Simply watch the programs and read the accompanying materials, and keep track of having done so. You can report this to the State Bar when it's time to demonstrate your compliance with the MCLE requirements.

Follow the Sections and CYLA on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn!




Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter. Connect with us on LinkedIn!

Social media, anyone? The Sections and the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) now have a page on Facebook, Twitter and a new LinkedIn account, where we can keep you up-to-date on our latest news and events.

We're also looking forward to interacting with a wider community and reaching out to people who are not currently members.

We invite you to "Like" us and follow our "Tweets. "

And by the way, the CYLA definition of "young" is any California attorney under the age of 36 or in their first five years of practice.

Members Only Area

 The Environmental Law Section is pleased to offer a members only area, including online issues of Environmental Law News and Environmental Law Update. Our new members only area also includes a number of other benefits available through My State Bar Profile. For more information, see Members Only Area.

Save money with CEB

Continuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending a special offer to our section. As a membCEB Discount Program for Section Memberser of the Environmental Law Section, you're eligible for a rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Contact Us

Environmental Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
FAX 415-538-2368