Land Use & Natural Resources Clinic

Variable Credit(s)
Fall: 600 13 | Spring 601 13

Academic Year Only

Land Use & Natural Resources Clinic
Law School Clinic Suite

Faculty Supervisors:
Associate Professor Michelle Bryan (Fall)

Assistant Professor Martha Williams (Spring)


The Land Use & Natural Resources Clinic is an in-house clinic located in the new Clinic Wing of the Law School (Room 119).   As an intern in this Clinic, you will directly represent Montana local governments on land use matters significant to your community. The Clinic provides you with an opportunity to synthesize the various lawyering skills you have been developing in your law school courses.  You will run meetings, draft memoranda, ordinances, and other legal documents, and present your work at client meetings and public hearings.  At each stage of your work you will receive faculty mentoring and feedback, with the goal of providing you with a strong skill set to begin the practice of land use law.

Satisfies Environmental/Natural Resource Law Certificate Requirement


  • Professional Responsibility (effective for all classes entering Fall 2011 and thereafter)
  • Land Use Planning & The Environment
  • Introduction to Environmental Law, effective Fall 2012

Areas of law: Land Use and Property Law; Environmental Law; Local Government Law; Constitutional Law

Lawyering skills: Regulatory drafting; Legal research and writing; Presenting to local governing bodies and other planning groups; Interacting with scientists, planners and other professionals

Sample Projects:  The Land Use & Natural Resources Clinic’s projects vary from year to year, but recent projects have included: preparing a major report on agricultural land protection, analyzing how local governments can plan for wind farm development, assisting with wildland-urban interface regulations, creating a public brochure on nonconforming use laws, and drafting zoning regulations that protect significant viewsheds and habitat areas.  Each project provides the opportunity to not only draft written documents, but to orally present work to planners, scientists, local government officials, and the public.

Selected Clinic Reports

Agricultural Protection in Montana:  Local Planning, Regulation, and Incentive

The Role of Fish and Wildlife Evidence in Local Land Use Regulation

Local Government Regulation of Wind Energy Development in Montana