Wyoming Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kite (J.D. ’74) and Wyoming Attorney General Pete Michael (J.D.’85) made a visit to the College of Law’s new Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources (EENR) Law Clinic last week. A former attorney in the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office and former partner with the law firm of Holland and Hart LLC, Justice Kite was one of Wyoming’s first environmental lawyers and was instrumental in helping develop the EENR Law Clinic at the College of Law. Justice Kite spoke with the students about her career and why she believes the new clinic is an important undertaking for the University of Wyoming College of Law and for the State of Wyoming.
As a major driving force himself in the implementation of the EENR Clinic, Attorney General Pete Michael also discussed founding of the EENR Clinic, the value the Clinic adds to the AG’s Office, and the valuable opportunities it provides law students. During his visit, Pete advised the students on the value of their clinical experience. “I know that this clinic is a major challenge for you given the other class work and projects that you have in the third year of law school,” he said, “but I think that you will look back in later years and appreciate the opportunity to jump start your careers.”
The EENR Law Clinic is a two-semester class that is jointly managed and taught by professors from the College of Law and attorneys from the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. The Clinic has a hybrid structure consisting of a classroom component and a clinical practice component. The clinical practice component provides students with the opportunity to work directly with attorneys from the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office on cases involving the State, State agencies, or State officials. The partnership with the Attorney General’s Office, and the opportunity for students to work directly on the State’s natural resource legal issues, sets the EENR Clinic apart from other environmental and natural resource law clinics across the country.
One of the first students to participate in the clinic, 3L Bailey Schreiber, noted that having such influential people visit the class is a testimony to the importance of the clinic. “It is really exciting to see the support from the broader natural resource community,” she says, “I’m very pleased to be a part of the inaugural class.”
The mission of the clinic is to provide third year law students with the education, skills training, and real life legal practice experience necessary to prepare them to practice in the areas of energy, environmental, and natural resources law. The Clinic’s primary instructors include: Jay Jerde (J.D. ’94), James Kaste (J.D. ’98), Mike McGrady (J.D. ‘06), Dave Ross, and Jeremiah Williamson of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, and Professor Sam Kalen and Temple Stoellinger of the College of Law.