Course Information

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 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 include community organizations and low-income individuals who are exposed to high cumulative levels of pollution, local governments, and nongovernmental organizations.

Recent cases have included:

  • Filing a Title VI civil rights complaint regarding adverse environmental and isolation impacts from construction of a highway though a historic black neighborhood;
  • Drafting administrative comments and participating in public meetings and contested case hearings challenging new pollution permits;
  • Filing a amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit on behalf of the City of Houston with respect to illegal air emissions;
  • Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act citizen suits for unauthorized pollution; 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 and editing legal memos, fact sheets, pleadings, and comments on federal rulemakings;
  • Assisting with public meetings, administrative hearings, and court proceedings; 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, administrative law practice, and the ethical and social issues involved in representing 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 (, 512-232-2654).