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Natural Resources

Working to protect water, natural resources, and coastal communities.

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Real World Experience

Benefiting from immersion in real world, complex environmental representations.

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Future Leaders

Encouraging law students to become future environmental leaders.

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Promoting sustainable agriculture and urban farming.

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Clean Energy

Fighting for clean and sustainable energy.

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Turner Environmental Law Clinic

Turner Clinic students

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic provides important pro bono legal representation to individuals, community groups, and nonprofit organizations that seek to protect and restore the natural environment for the benefit of the public. Through its work, the clinic offers students an intense, hands-on introduction to environmental law and trains the next generation of environmental attorneys.

An Integral Legal Resource and an Important Experience for Students

Protecting the Environment: Each year, the Turner Environmental Law Clinic provides over 4,000 hours of pro bono legal representation. The key matters occupying our current docket—fighting for clean and sustainable energy; promoting sustainable agriculture and urban farming; and protecting our water, natural resources, and coastal communities—are among the most critical issues for our state, region, and nation, especially in light of climate change’s effects.

Building our Legal Community: The Clinic strives to instill a cooperative and efficient mode of interaction among the public interest environmental law community through sponsoring meetings for Georgia’s Public Interest Environmental Law Coalition, making presentations across the country, and welcoming incredible speakers to Emory.

Educating our Students: The Clinic’s students benefit from immersion in real world, complex environmental matters. Not only are they emerging with newfound expertise and confidence, but they understand from firsthand experience the importance of providing public interest environmental representations.

The Future of Environmental Law: Where the Next 20 Years Will Lead Us

Our conference on Friday, January 18, 2019, was a great success thanks to our wonderful presenters and sponsors. You may view view recordings of the conference by clicking on the links below.

Turner Clinic 20th Anniversary Keynote address with Lois Gibbs

Panel 1: Environmental Law Clinics: The Secret Weapon to Saving our Environment

Panel 2: The Future of Environmental Law: Frontiers in Advocacy and Protection in a Time of Conflict and Change

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic focuses on fighting for clean and sustainable energy; promoting sustainable agriculture and urban farming; and protecting our water, natural resources, and coastal communities.

In this work, we represent and partner with many incredible environmental organizations.

We are pleased that our work has garnered national attention, appearing in hundreds of news stories through print media, broadcast news, and the Internet. We hope to continue to bring attention to the many critical environmental issues facing our state, region, and nation.

“As a second-year law student, I traveled to Miami to participate in a nuclear power plant permitting proceeding before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This experience helped me develop the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to become a more effective advocate.”

Carter Thurman 12L

In an effort to promote clean and sustainable energy, on behalf of over 35 environmental organizations, the Clinic has successfully challenged decisions regarding the safety and environmental risks posed by nuclear power generation and the resultant nuclear waste.

As a result of our work and the work of our co-counsel:

  • The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's regulation regarding nuclear waste, forcing the agency to reconsider the environmental impacts of long-term or indefinite storage of this waste at reactor sites across the country.
  • Florida Power and Light is investigating the environmental impacts of injecting wastewater into aquifers under the Turkey Point nuclear site in Homestead, Florida.
  • The Southern Nuclear Operating Company abandoned its ill-advised plan to dredge over 100 miles of the Savannah River to ship nuclear reactor components to the Plant Vogtle nuclear site in Waynesboro, Georgia.
  • The Department of Energy released thousands of pages of documents regarding the $8.3 billion loan guarantees for Plant Vogtle, giving Congress, the media, and members of the public the information they need to assess the terms and conditions of the loans.

In addition to its nuclear work, the Clinic has tackled many other issues related to sustainable energy production. For example:

“During my time with the Turner Clinic, I had the opportunity to participate in the drafting of an amendment to the Atlanta Zoning Code to provide for urban agriculture in the City of Atlanta. I then collaborated with Professor Goldstein and a team of partners and clients to build support for the amendment from government officials and communities. Working on such a tangible advocacy project has been the highlight of my law school experience.”

Jonathan Goreham 13L

In cities, local food production increases food access, revitalizes underserved communities, creates green space, and increases property values. Across the country, sustainable agriculture practices also protect our land, water, animals, and farmers. The Clinic has promoted sustainable agriculture, urban agriculture, and local food production through a wide range of activities:

  • Published a sixteen-city survey of urban agriculture practices across the country.
  • Together with Georgia Organics and the Atlanta Local Food Initiative, assisted the City of Atlanta in passing a zoning amendment that makes Atlanta one of the most permissive cities of urban agriculture practices in the country. Atlanta is now poised to be a leader in local food production.
  • Partnered with Atlanta Farm-to-School, Captain Planet Foundation, and Georgia Organics to develop a comprehensive farm-to-school proposal for Atlanta Public Schools.
  • On behalf of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, prepared comments that convinced the Food and Drug Administration to issue a regulation governing the growing and harvesting of produce that protects public health, while also protecting small farmers and the environment.
  • Partnered with Friends of the Earth in encouraging the federal regulation of neonicotinoids, a bee-toxic pesticide. The Clinic also worked closely with Emory's Office of Sustainability Initiatives to ban neonics from Emory's campus.
  • Represented Global Growers and Common Market Georgia in developing an incubator farm and food hub.
  • On behalf of Food Well Alliance, assessed legal barriers to small-scale, large-scale, and commercial composting in Georgia.
  • Answered farmers' legal questions on numerous issues, including stormwater management, zoning, leasing, food safety, and soil testing.

“The Turner Clinic was the most enjoyable part of my law school experience and solidified my interest in practicing environmental law. The work was always challenging and helped me to develop much greater confidence in my abilities as an advocate, especially my legal writing. It was a truly unique opportunity to gain hands on experience working on complex litigation with national policy implications while still in law school.”

Ross Phillips 12L

In an effort to protect our water, natural resources, and coastal communities, the Clinic has tackled a wide-range of matters.

  • Together with Southern Environmental Law Center and on behalf of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Savannah Riverkeeper, filed comments on permits to withdraw water from the imperiled Savannah River and discharge polluted water back into the river.
  • On behalf of several riverkeepers, prepared an amicus curiae brief highlighting important conservation issues, which may be filed before the Special Master in Florida v. Georgia, a case of original jurisdiction in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Partnered with local watershed protection organizations to monitor new reservoir proposals in Georgia.
  • Partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to prepare a report for Congress that highlights the incredible outcomes the National Environmental Policy Act has helped achieve and the disasters it has helped avoid.
  • Answered various questions related to conservation easements for The Nature Conservancy.

“The Turner Environmental Law Clinic represents one of our best community partnerships. They worked with us to develop and pass a farmer’s market policy that has increased access to fresh food for the residents of Atlanta, and economic opportunities for local farmers. Their students have become increasingly involved in other aspects of our issues and organization, offering their expertise in many ways. What a vital social service!” —Jennifer L. Owens, former Advocacy Director, Georgia Organics

"For years the Turner Environmental Law Clinic has been an invaluable resource not only to our organization but to concerned citizens and organizations across the Southeast. The Clinic's professionalism, expertise, commitment to protect our environment and the public health and safety of communities and passion for this challenging work is unparalleled. It's hard to imagine being able to take on these important issues without them." — Sara Barczak, Program Director for High Risk Energy, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

“In my six-plus years of collaborating with Turner Environmental Law Clinic, I have found it to be an invaluable and extraordinary institution that gives me great hope for the future of environmental protection. I can’t think of a better experience for an aspiring environmental lawyer or a better way to develop a strong public interest environmental bar of the future.” —Diane Curran, partner, Harmon, Curran, Spielberg, Eisenberg LLP

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic works with and represents numerous individuals, community groups, and nonprofit organizations.  We’re proud of the relationships we’ve built, and we’re excited to work together to protect the environment.  Some of our clients, co-counsel, and partners include:

  • Alabama Rivers Alliance
  • Alliance to Halt Fermi 3
  • Apalachicola Riverkeeper
  • Atlanta Farm to School
  • Atlanta Local Food Initiative
  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Beyond Nuclear
  • Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
  • Captain Planet Foundation
  • Center for a Sustainable Coast
  • Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
  • Citizens Allied for Safe Energy
  • Citizens Environmental Coalition
  • Citizens Resistance at Fermi 2
  • City of Atlanta
  • Climate at Emory
  • Common Market Georgia
  • Don’t Waste Michigan
  • Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives
  • Everglades Law Center
  • Flint Riverkeeper
  • Food Well Alliance
  • Friends of the Coast
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Georgia Conservancy
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Large-Scale Solar
  • Georgia Organics
  • Global Growers
  • GreenLaw
  • Green States Solutions
  • Harmon, Curran, Spielberg + Eisenberg LLP
  • Love is Love Farm
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force
  • Nuclear Energy Information Service
  • Nuclear Information and Resource Service
  • Nuclear Watch South
  • Partnership for Southern Equity
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Public Health and Sustainable Energy
  • Riverkeeper
  • San Clemente Green
  • San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
  • San Onofre Safety
  • Savannah Riverkeeper
  • SEED Coalition
  • Sierra Club Nuclear Free Campaign
  • Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
  • Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
  • Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Southface
  • Taxpayers for Common Sense
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • TransFormation Alliance
  • Truly Living Well
  • Turner Foundation
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • University of Georgia

The Clinic's Advisory Board includes prominent environmental lawyers, engineers, and scholars.

Ashten Bailey 11L, Environmental Attorney, Federal Government
William Buzbee, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law School
Juliet Cohen, General Counsel, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
Sam DeSimone, RetiredExecutive Vice President and General Counsel, EarthLink
Jewell Harper, Lecturer, Spelman College
James Henderson, Founder and Managing Director, truGround Environmental
Richard A. Horder, Partner, Kazmarek Mowery Cloud Laseter LLP
Ciannat Howett, Director of Sustainability Initiatives, Emory University
Kelly Jordan, Founder and President, Point Center Corporation
Mandy Mahoney 06L, President, Southeastern Energy Efficiency Alliance
Jonathan Nash, Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
Rebecca Purdom, Professor of Practice, Emory University School of Law
Kristen Ritter Rivera, Environmental and Regulatory Manager, Newell Brands
Gil Rogers, Director of Georgia and Alabama Offices, Southern Environmental Law Center
Andrew M. Thompson 97L, Partner, Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP
Katherine Weaver, Account Director, Jackson Spalding

Mindy Goldstein, Director

Director, Turner Environmental Law Clinic and Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program

Faculty Profile »

Richard A. Horder

Adjunct Professor of Practice, Turner Environmental Law Clinic and Adjunct Professor, Environmental Advocacy

Faculty Profile »

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic offers intellectually stimulating, professionally challenging, and personally rewarding instruction by granting Emory Law School students practical training in the practice of environmental law. Students enrolled in the Clinic:

  • Take part in all aspects of complex civil litigation – drafting legal memoranda, briefs, and pleadings, and participating in client meetings, expert interviews, discovery, negotiations, and the development of case strategy.
  • Present arguments at administrative hearings.
  • Prepare transactional documents.
  • Work on legislative and policy issues at the local, state, and national levels.

Throughout the course of this work, students interact with clients, community groups, government personnel, experts, co-counsel, and opposing counsel.

Enrollment and Credits

The Clinic enrolls up to ten second-year and third-year students each semester. Student-attorneys work a minimum of 150 hours in the Clinic and receive three credit hours towards graduation. Students may work in the Clinic for two semesters.

Prerequisites or Co-requisites

Admission into the Clinic is competitive. To apply, students must have taken or be currently enrolled in the two-credit Environmental Advocacy course offered every fall. Preference is given to students who also have taken or are currently enrolled in Environmental Law, Administrative Law, and other environmental or regulatory courses.

The Application Process

Applications will be accepted either through Symplicity, or by submitting a complete application packet to Professor Mindy Goldstein.

Applications for Fall 2019 will be accepted March 4 - 17, 2019. 
Interviews and rolling admissions will be offered March 18-26, 2019.
Deadline to accept/decline all offers is March 29, 2019.

When applying through Symplicity, log in, then go to Jobs>Clinics.

For any questions, please contact Mindy Goldstein,

Turner Environmental Law Clinic Fellowship Program

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law offers a two-year fellowship to provide a recent law school graduate the opportunity to grow as an effective environmental advocate while working with the Clinic to address some of the most difficult and cutting-edge environmental issues of the day, including: sustainable energy and climate change, sustainable agriculture and urban farming, water resource protection, conservation and land use, and citizen enforcement and participation in regulatory and judicial proceedings.  The fellowship focuses on building the next generation of influential attorneys and academics specializing in public interest environmental law. It also provides intensive opportunities to develop clinical education skills.  The next Turner Environmental Law Clinic fellowship will begin August 1, 2019.

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic fellow will work under the supervision of Clinic faculty on a variety of projects that will include, at a minimum, the following:

  • Supervise students in the Turner Environmental Law Clinic and assist with teaching in the Clinic’s seminar class.
  • Represent the Clinic’s clients in complex civil litigation, transactional, and policy matters, while working closely with co-counsel, expert witnesses, and government officials.
  • Collaborate with Clinic faculty on environmental law and research projects.

The fellow may also choose to research and write at least one article, policy paper, or other approved project of publishable quality on a topic relating to environmental law.

Qualifications:  Law school graduate within three (3) years of graduation, excellent research and writing skills, and proven commitment to public service in the area of environmental law.

To apply:  Submit a resume, statement of interest, transcript, list of three (3) references, and writing sample.  The application period is now closed.

Deadline:  Applications are no longer being accepted.

Salary:  Salary is competitive with other public interest fellowship opportunities. Emory University offers a generous benefits package.    

For additional information or to apply, contact:

Melinda Banks
Administrative Assistant
Turner Environmental Law Clinic
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30322

About the Turner Environmental Law Clinic:

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic provides pro bono legal assistance to individuals, community groups, and nonprofit organizations seeking to protect and restore the natural environment for the benefit of the public.  Through its work, the Clinic offers students an intense, hands-on introduction to environmental law and trains the next generation of environmental attorneys.  

For more information, visit our website at: