2023 Annual Report: Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy – Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program

In 2023, the Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy (LSE) initiative marked its fifth anniversary and continued to expand its impact. The initiative now boasts 20 firms that provided over $26 million in pro bono services on sustainability matters, with notable contributions from Arnold & Porter and Orrick, Wilson Sonsini, and Morrison & Foerster.

This fall, LSE launched Startup Law: Sustainability, an experiential education class at Stanford Law School that supports the Stanford founder community by providing pro bono legal assistance and support to early-stage nonprofit and for-profit startups tackling climate, sustainability, and social impact challenges. This complementary addition to LSE has been a success, with the initiative vetting over 80 applicants and providing 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 helping entities focused on sustainable aquaculture and agriculture, coral reef restoration, renewable energy production, green financing, and carbon capture technologies. Through their work, they were able to make a significant impact on promoting sustainable practices across multiple industries.

In addition to its ongoing work with startups and nonprofits, LSE also 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 passage of the IRA in 2023, this collaboration was particularly important in ensuring that businesses had access to the resources they needed to transition towards more sustainable practices.

Overall, LSE’s work in 2023 has been instrumental in promoting sustainable practices across multiple industries while supporting startups and nonprofits working towards a more sustainable future. As the initiative continues to grow in impact and reach new heights of success, we look forward to seeing what the future holds for Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy.

By Samantha Johnson

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