M E E T E A R T H ’ S L E G A L T E A M :
By Peter Getty
• “Because the earth needs a lawyer”, the tagline of the United
States nonproﬁt EarthJustice, was recognized as one of the best
taglines out of 1,702 entries in 2010.
• But the organization is more than just a clever slogan.
• EarthJustice has also been named one of America’s 100 best
charities by Worth magazine and has made considerable
contributions in environmental law and community groups.
• Headquartered in San
Francisco, the legal
organization – whose
main objective is
– has nine regional
ofﬁces across the U.S.
with an international
presence and a
Washington, DC team,
organization does not
receive any funds from
• Instead, EarthJustice receives its funding from individual and
• Founded in 1971 as the Sierra Club Legal Defense
Fund, Earth Justice’s moniker was changed in 1997
clarifying its role as a legal entity dedicated to the
aid nonproﬁt and humanitarian clients who need pro
The nonprofit focuses its
efforts on three major
1. Health and Toxics advocacy of healthy communities
2. Climate and Energy advocacy of clean energy and
combating climate change
3. The Wild advocacy of preserving bio-diversity of
wildlife and lands
• Though up against great odds, EarthJustice has become a
formidable player in the United States legal system for
setting precedents involving environmental laws.
• Some important Supreme Court cases have included…
• In the 1972 Supreme Court case, Sierra Club v. Morton,
EarthJustice — established the right of citizens to sue
for environmental damages.
• The Walt Disney Corporation was forced to abandon
development of a ski resort in the Mineral King valley in
California’s Sierra Nevada Range – thusly, preserving the
Sequoia National Park.
• In the 2006 Supreme Court case, Massachusetts v. Environmental
Protection Agency, EarthJustice attorneys helped a coalition of state
governments and conservation groups force the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to ﬁght global warming by limiting greenhouse
• It was the ﬁrst Supreme Court case to ever address the issue of
• EarthJustice continues to add in keeping communities and
the environment protected and preserved, and continues
to receive honors such as a 4-star rating from Charity