University of Oregon School of Law Green Business Initiative

By Kimberly Burkland Pray, Assistant Director, Green Business Initiative and YLS Futures Committee member.

In 2007, the UofO School of Law created the Green Business Initiative, one of the first law school programs in the country designed to expand teaching, research and outreach opportunities in an emerging academic area at the intersection of law, business, and the environment. The initiative, which houses its Portland classroom and offices in the LEED Gold certified White Stag Block, provides a venue for discussion and inquiry about how the law can support the businesses and entrepreneurs who are changing the way people interact with the environment.

The initiative introduced a number of new green business courses to the curriculum, including courses in energy law, green building and construction, the law of wine, and sustainable tax and business practices. In April 2009, the Lundquist College of Business partnered with the law school to offer a new joint JD/MBA in Sustainable Business Practices.

The Green Business Initiative Student Association boasts more than 60 active members. In 2008, the students raised approximately $40,000 to enable the law school library to create a large and important sustainable business collection, which is unique among law libraries in the Northwest. The student group has now held three successful green business symposia - the first focusing on renewable energy, carbon policy and sustainable development, and the second on "Growing a Green Economy."