The New Private Public Interest Bar
John E. Bonine
University of Oregon; Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide; Western Environmental Law Center
Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1986
This 1986 article was the first in the world to name and describe the phenomenon of practicing public interest environmental law on a regular basis from a private law firm. A private public interest lawyer is not one who works in a large law firm and does occasional pro bono work on the side. Such lawyers face limits imposed by the business interests of the other clients of the law firm. Rather, a private public interest lawyer habitually represents smaller clients against big economic interests or government, making positional conflicts far less likely. This article gives examples of such practices and describes how professors may help environmental law students enter this alternative mode of law practice.
Since this article was published more than 20 years ago, the number of private public interest environmental lawyers has grown to equal the number practicing public interest environmental law on the staffs of nonprofit organizations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: environmental law, public interest, pro bono, nonprofit
JEL Classification: K32
Date posted: November 28, 2007