Experiential Learning in the Clinical Education Program

Alumna Heather Navarro, JD ’08, began her journey in environmental law at WashULaw’s Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic, both as an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis and while earning her JD. The clinic had a great impact, and cemented her passion for protecting the environment.

Navarro now directs Midwest Climate Collaborative, a joint effort with WashU and other key institutions throughout the Midwest to fight climate change. She also served as Alderperson for the City of St. Louis’ 28th Ward from 2017 to 2021, and as executive director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

As an undergraduate, Heather led her clinic team’s effort to help pass a Missouri law on testing children for lead poisoning. In law school, she worked as a member of the clinic’s air permit team, tasked with commenting on Granite City Steel’s application to renew their air permit and negotiating with Granite City’s outside counsel on conditions of permit renewal. “Participating in the clinic was a formative, eye-opening way to see how things get done in the real world,” she says.

The Clinical Education Program was launched in 1973, and WashULaw is proud to celebrate the program’s 50th anniversary. The Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic is just one of our 19 acclaimed legal clinics and externships, which provide quality pro bono legal representation to clients who cannot otherwise afford it.