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

Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Celebrates 5th Anniversary and Launches Startup Law: Sustainability

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy (LSE) initiative, and we are thrilled to continue to expand our work and impact. We currently have 20 firms in the initiative that collectively 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 our ongoing work, this fall we launched Startup Law: Sustainability, an experiential education class at Stanford Law School that supports the Stanford founder community. Students in this class provide pro bono legal assistance and support to early-stage nonprofit and for-profit startups addressing climate, sustainability, and social impact challenges. This class has been a great complementary addition to LSE, as it often forwards more complex matters to the LSE network.

Together with Startup Law: Sustainability, we vetted over 80 applicants and were able to provide pro bono legal help to nearly 50 sustainability-focused startups and nonprofits. 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.

Lastly, with the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), we worked closely with attorneys in our 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. Our commitment to supporting sustainable businesses remains stronger than ever before.

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