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Celebrating Five Years of Legal Support for Sustainability: The Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Initiative and its Experiential Education Class

2023 Annual Report for the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program by Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy

Celebrating Five Years of Legal Support for Sustainability: The Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Initiative and its Experiential Education Class

The Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy (LSE) initiative is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, and we are excited to continue expanding our work and impact. Currently, the initiative has 20 firms that have provided over $26 million in pro bono on sustainability matters in 2023. Some of the notable contributions include over $2 million by Arnold & Porter and Orrick, over $6 million by Wilson Sonsini, and $7 million by Morrison & Foerster.

In addition to LSE’s work with firms, we also launched an experiential education class at Stanford Law School called Startup Law: Sustainability. This class provides pro bono legal assistance and support to early-stage nonprofit and for-profit startups addressing climate, sustainability, and social impact challenges. The class has been a great complementary addition to LSE as it often forwards more complex matters to the LSE network.

LSE and Startup Law: Sustainability vetted over 80 applicants and were able to provide pro bono legal help to nearly 50 sustainability-focused startups and nonprofits in 2023. The firms in the LSE initiative worked on a variety of interesting matters this year, including projects related to sustainable aquaculture and agriculture, coral reef restoration, renewable energy production, green financing, and carbon capture technologies.

With the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the LSE initiative worked closely with attorneys in the initiative to offer webinars and direct pro bono services to startups and Tribal entities on how to take advantage of IRA incentives and accelerate renewable energy implementation. Overall, LSE continues to be committed to providing legal support for sustainability-focused initiatives while working towards a more sustainable future.

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