DNRC Forestry and Trust Land Management Divisions Clinic

Associate Professor Michelle Bryan

Assistant Professor Martha Williams

Variable Credit(s)
Fall: LAW 601 21 | Spring: LAW 601 03

Academic Year/Summer

DNRC Forestry and Trust Land Management Divisions
Supervising Attorney:
  Mark Phares

Faculty Supervisors:

Michelle Bryan (Fall)

Martha Williams (Spring)

Satisfies Environmental/Natural Resource Law Certificate Requirement


  • Professional Responsibility (effective for all classes entering Fall 2011 and thereafter)
  • Introduction to Environmental Law, effective Fall 2012

Recommended Courses:  It is strongly recommended that students in this clinic have taken or are taking Public Lands and Administrative Law.

Areas of law: Public Land Law; Environmental and Natural Resources Law; Administrative Law; Transactional Law

Lawyering skills: Legal research and writing; Transactional drafting; Regulatory drafting, Legislative research; Litigation support and potential courtroom work

Sample Projects:  Research litigation issues involving ownership of state lands; Analyze legal issues surrounding fire response on public lands; Review contracts; Assist with discovery requests and motions.

The Montana Department of Conservation (“DNRC”) Forestry and Trust Land Management Divisions conduct a wide array of legal services, including prosecuting and defending laws suits, conducting administrative hearings, drafting contracts and rights-of-way, and providing day-to-day legal advice to agency personnel.  DNRC Clinical Students would conduct and/or assist with many of these legal services, and would conduct a host of legal research and drafting projects.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Forestry Division has responsibility for suppressing wildland fires, and for maintaining the health of Montana’s forests.  It does so through the administration of programs for community forestry, streamside management zones, and the reduction of hazards related to the harvest of forest products on private property.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Trust Land Management Division manages over five million acres of surface land and 6.2 million acres of minerals lands.  It holds these lands in trust for the financial benefit of several State of Montana institutions as provided in Montana’s Enabling Act.  State trust land uses range from forest management, real-estate management in the form of residential, cabinsite and commercial leases, agricultural and grazing management, and oil and gas development.