Celebrating Five Years of Legal Support for Sustainable Businesses: The Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy Initiative’s Achievements and Future Outlook

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, and we are thrilled to continue expanding our reach and impact. With over 20 firms in the initiative, they collectively provided over $26 million in pro bono legal assistance on sustainability matters in 2023. Some of the notable contributions include $2 million by Arnold & Porter and Orrick, over $6 million by Wilson Sonsini, and $7 million by Morrison & Foerster.

In addition to their ongoing work, LSE launched an experiential education class at Stanford Law School called Startup Law: Sustainability. This class provides pro bono legal assistance and support to early-stage nonprofit and for-profit startups addressing climate, sustainability, and social impact challenges. Students in this class often forward 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. 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.

To further support their work in promoting sustainable practices, LSE collaborated 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 with the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

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