Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy (LSE): Celebrating 5 Years of Providing Pro Bono Legal Work on Sustainability Issues

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 is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Since its inception, the initiative has grown to include 20 law firms that provided over $26 million in pro bono legal work related to sustainability issues in 2023. Some of the notable contributions include over $2 million from Arnold & Porter and Orrick, over $6 million from Wilson Sonsini, and $7 million from Morrison & Foerster.

In addition to its work with law firms, LSE also launched an experiential education class at Stanford Law School called Startup Law: Sustainability. This class provides students with the opportunity to provide 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 valuable complementary addition to LSE, as it often forwards more complex matters to the LSE network.

Together, 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 related to sustainable aquaculture and agriculture, coral reef restoration, renewable energy production, green financing, and carbon capture technologies.

As if that wasn’t enough, with the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), LSE 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. This shows just how committed LSE is to making a positive impact on the environment through legal work.

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