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WVU Law land use students pre-hike group photo

The Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic offers a rigorous 14-credit course to select third-year (3L) law students, with seven credits earned in both the fall and spring semesters. The course enables student clinicians, primarily through experiential learning, to develop skills in property law, land use law and planning, and other clinic practice areas in sustainable development.

Student clinicians work a minimum of 20 hours per week, supervised by Land Use Law Clinic faculty. Opportunities for students include conducting client interviews and negotiations, facilitating public meetings, presenting research to clients and peers, and performing various drafting exercises. 

WVU Law LUSD Clinic

The biweekly 90-minute classroom seminar is led by faculty and guest speakers, who typically include state congressmen, mayors, planning commissioners, local government attorneys, and key clinic partners. In this seminar, students are introduced to the substantive law and policy underlying current Land Use Law Clinic projects.

Students are selected for the program based on academic achievement, relevant work experience, and research and writing skills. Additionally, students must demonstrate a sincere interest in land use and natural resources issues. 

Satisfactory completion of courses in Property Law, Land Use Law, Water Law, Administrative Law, and Professional Responsibility are preferred but not required. 

Application requirements and deadlines are announced during the middle of the spring semester.

Student Application

WVU Law LUSD Classroom

Erin O’Brien

Honors Attorney, U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of General Counsel

“The WVU Land Use Clinic helped prepare me for my dream career as a federal government attorney. The Clinic matches assignments with a student’s career goals and interests. Transportation law requires both a knowledge of land use law and an ability to collaborate and communicate with government officials at every level to successfully complete any major infrastructure project. For me, the Clinic exposed me to a variety of legal questions and assignments, including administrative procedures, federal laws that impact land use, as well as environmental law and communication law (broadband). The Clinic gave me the opportunity to work with and help improve West Virginia localities with each of their unique challenges. Overall, the Clinic and its amazing staff provided me with a rewarding experience that I will take with me as I begin my career as an attorney.” 

Andrew Cooper

Private Practice, Spencer, WV

“My time with the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic was undoubtedly my most valuable experience while at the College of Law. The Clinic gave me the opportunity to work with a group of talented and supportive people on meaningful projects that positively impact our state on a daily basis. Through assisting individual community plans for the future, working on various conservation projects, and many others, the Clinic faculty taught me how the law is an essential piece of the puzzle to move the state forward. The practical experience I gained from the Clinic has given me the confidence and ability to tackle complex issues that I will certainly draw from throughout my legal career.”