Celebrating Five Years of Legal Support for a Sustainable Economy: LSE’s Impact and Expansion

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. Over the past five years, the initiative has grown in impact and scope, with 20 firms currently participating and providing over $26 million in pro bono services on sustainability matters. 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.

One of the most exciting developments for LSE this year has been the launch of Startup Law: Sustainability at Stanford Law School. This experiential education class provides 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 great complementary addition to LSE, as it often refers more complex matters to the LSE network.

In total, 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. The firms in the LSE initiative worked on a variety of interesting projects this year, including projects related to sustainable aquaculture and agriculture, coral reef restoration, renewable energy production, green financing, and carbon capture technologies.

One of the biggest accomplishments for LSE this year has been its work with attorneys in the initiative to offer webinars and direct pro bono services to startups and Tribal entities on how to take advantage of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) incentives and accelerate renewable energy implementation. With the passing of this landmark legislation, LSE was able to provide valuable resources to even more organizations working towards a sustainable future.

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