Public interest lawyers from 10 countries launched ELAW in 1991 to help each other protect communities and the environment through law. These lawyers were working together at a public interest law conference at the University of Oregon School of Law. As they talked, they discovered that communities in their countries were facing similar environmental and human rights challenges. They were inspired by each other’s passion and work, and they realized that by sharing strategies and legal and scientific information, they would be more effective in defending communities and the environment.
They began their cross-border collaboration in the early days of email, and ELAW’s team traveled the world to build relationships and connect advocates and their organizations through the ELAW network. Today, we collaborate with public interest advocates working in more than 80 countries.