The Environmental Law Society (ELS) is one of the largest and most active student organizations at the William S. Richardson School of Law. Created in 1987, ELS has built an impressive program of education, scholarship, and public service. The reasons for the students’ success are numerous: the natural environment that makes Hawai‘i an extraordinary place to learn; the strong support of administration, faculty, and alumni; and the effort of enthusiastic student members.
Hawai‘i’s unique environment makes it a rare and special place to study environmental law. The mission of ELS is to increase student and public awareness of the environmental issues and values that underlie many of today’s policy decisions. ELS provides students and the general community with exposure to environmental issues and laws, engages in conservation efforts, and develops student skills to participate in the making of sound environmental policy.
To enhance student opportunities to work in the public sector of environmental law, ELS offers a Summer Grant Program, No Ke Ola o ka ‘A¯ina (For the Life of the Land). Money for the grant is generated from the hard work and fundraising efforts of ELS members who dedicate their time throughout the school year to raise money for a fellow student.
ELS has also participated in co-publishing with the ELP the Hawai‘i Environmental Law Careers Directory; putting on a film series; law school recycling programs; keeping students up-to-date on current events; and cleaning up a nearby segment of Manoa Stream as part of the City and County of Honolulu’s Adopt-a-Stream program. In addition, ELS has sponsored hiking trips, beach cleanups, and other events that bring together ELS students, faculty, alumni, and Hawai‘i’s environmental law bar. ELS members are passionate about taking care of the environment. They already make a difference and know they will continue to do so!