Established in 1994, the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy is a joint initiative between the Yale School of the Environment and the Yale Law School. These two schools have strong traditions of leadership in environmentalism.

The Yale School of the Environment, founded in 1900 by Gifford Pinchot, the first director of the U.S. Forest Service, helped to launch the conservation and natural resource management movement in the early 1900s. The School’s graduates have provided ongoing leadership in the environmental and natural resource fields, both domestically and internationally.

Graduates of Yale Law School were the prime movers behind the environmental law movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, founding organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council. Yale Law School students are active in the Yale Environmental Law Associations and special projects organized by the Center for Environmental Law & Policy.