Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Initiative: Expanding Reach and Impact with Over $26 Million in Pro Bono Legal Services

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

The Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy (LSE) initiative has been working towards creating a sustainable future for five years now. This year, we are excited to expand our reach and impact, with 20 firms currently participating in the program. In 2023, these firms provided over $26 million in pro bono legal services related to sustainability issues.

One of the notable contributions was over $2 million from Arnold & Porter and Orrick, over $6 million from Wilson Sonsini, and $7 million from Morrison & Foerster. These contributions have helped us make a significant impact in addressing climate change and promoting sustainable practices.

In addition to our work with firms, we have also launched an experiential education class at Stanford Law School called Startup Law: Sustainability. This class provides students with hands-on experience in providing pro bono legal assistance to early-stage nonprofit and for-profit startups addressing sustainability challenges. The class has been a great complementary addition to LSE, as it often refers more complex matters to our network.

Through our efforts this year, we vetted over 80 applicants and were able to provide pro bono legal help to nearly 50 sustainability-focused startups and nonprofits. Our firms worked on a variety of interesting projects related to sustainable aquaculture and agriculture, coral reef restoration, renewable energy production, green financing, and carbon capture technologies.

We are thrilled to announce that with the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), we have been able 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. We look forward to continuing our work towards a more sustainable future through partnerships like these.

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