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Although it is somewhat difficult to define precisely, the concept of sustainability describes a way of meeting today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to likewise meet their own requirements. As local and global environmental threats grow more acute – and as social and economic challenges multiply – actors in both the private and public sectors have increasingly moved toward practicing and even requiring more sustainable ways of living, governing, and doing business. Lawyers are thus now serving clients who incorporate sustainability into their organizational goals, and many lawyers and law firms are themselves considering ways to make their practices more sustainable.

This blog arises out of a seminar class at Lewis and Clark Law School, which for over four decades has been the leader in environmental law education in the United States. The work of students in the seminar examines how emerging concepts of sustainability are influencing both the law and legal practice. Through analyzing how environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability are changing law and policy, we hope to foster a dialog that will better define sustainability law, as well as foster the law’s ongoing contributions toward a more sustainable society.