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Release date:
March 6, 2002
Contact: Elaine Justice, Associate Director: 404-727-0643 or

Julie Mayfield,
Turner Environmental Law Clinic director

Emory's Turner Environmental Law Clinic Receives 'Rare' Grants

The Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University recently received a large boost from the Turner Foundation in the form of two grants that will support the clinic for the next five years and help double its staff. The clinic received a five-year, unconditional grant totaling $575,000 that will cover operational expenses, and a separate $25,000-a-year (for five years) matching challenge grant to fund another position—if the clinic raises $55,000 a year from other sources.

The matching grant will be used to pay for another staff attorney and also help spur other means of support for the clinic, says director Julie Mayfield, who currently is the only attorney on staff. The clinic has secured $55,000 in funding this year, with a $30,000 grant from The Sapelo Foundation and a $25,000 grant from the law school. Mayfield says the clinic is working to secure more money for the position before hiring someone.

"Adding another staff attorney will have a huge impact for us," Mayfield says. "It will allow us to take on more cases and accept more students into the clinic and enhance all that we do."

Established in 1998 with a Turner Foundation grant, the clinic provides students with an intense exposure to environmental law disputes and provides clinic clients with pro-bono legal assistance on diverse environmental law issues in litigation, legislative and regulatory contexts. The clinic handles cases in both state and federal courts, and student attorneys advocate before local, state and federal agencies, and local and state legislative bodies.

"It is very rare for the Turner Foundation to award five-year grants, but due to the exceptional nature of the program, and the long-term benefits that will accrue to the environment, we determined it was important to commit our support with these two grants," says Michael Finley, president of the Turner Foundation.

The clinic is involved in litigation in several areas, including: a citizen suit under the Clean Water Act; a citizen suit under the Clean Air Act; revising DeKalb County’s land development ordinance; monitoring enforcement of erosion and sedimentation laws in Glynn County and other matters.

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