Virginia Sea Grant is proud to have entered a partnership with William & Mary Law School’s new Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic (VCPC). The VCPC offers law students the opportunity to work with leading Virginia scientists and develop solutions for some of the most challenging environmental questions facing policymakers today. Examining issues ranging from property rights to federalism, the clinic’s activities are inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on scientific, economic, and policy expertise from across the university.
Clinic students in the inaugural Spring 2013 class are currently working with the cities of Norfolk and Poquoson to help them analyze the policy issues they face relating to sea-level rise. Clinic students will be trained to collaborate with scientists, local policymakers, private citizens, and the business and military communities to better understand some of the most complex coastal resource management issues facing Virginia and the nation.
From understanding local zoning to identifying the concerns of multiple stakeholders, students will gain practical experience that will serve them well in their future legal and professional careers. Students will learn how the policy-making process works and how to develop expert analysis to inform decision-making.
Virginia Sea Grant, the Center for Coastal Resources Management, and the VCPC have a joint mission to provide science-based legal and policy analysis of environmental and land use issues affecting the state’s coastal resources.
VCPC was established with funding from the Virginia Environmental Endowment.