Emma Clouse

  • Hosted by Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
  • Sponsored by Baker McKenzie, Ecolab Inc.
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Issue area Environmental Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Emma advocated for community-driven solutions to environmental injustices by providing legal support to community organizations and coalitions at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

Historically disadvantaged communities of color in Chicago are disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and are working on proactive solutions to these harms, often despite steep barriers. Emma’s project addressed these barriers by providing advocacy and direct legal services to small businesses and community organizations creating healthier, safer, and economically sustainable environments. Her advocacy focused on equitable water access and urban agriculture. Partnership organizations included urban agriculture support networks, green space and water advocates, environmental justice coalitions, and small businesses focused on sustainability and addressing environmental injustices.

Emma’s dedication to a cleaner environment motivates her to empower those most impacted by industry and pollution to create safer and healthier communities.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship, Emma:
  • Advocated for equitable water access, infrastructure, and policies with community partners
  • Provided legal support to urban growers navigating water and land access barriers
  • Represented the Pembroke Environmental Justice Coalition in their campaign to appeal an Illinois Commerce Commission decision approving the expansion of natural gas in the community
  • Hosted the Urban Grower Legal Clinic that connected pro bono attorneys to local growers and organizations

Next Steps

After Emma concludes her fellowship in October of 2022, she will continue working on issues of community development and affordable housing as an associate attorney at Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen in Chicago.


Black Farmers in Rural Pembroke Township Protest Nicor Plan To Build Gas Pipeline Through Their Community

Fighting for Land and Water Access in Chicago

The Power of Connection Virtual Event

I am eager to work alongside communities to affirmatively reduce environmental injustice and encourage sustainable development.

Emma Clouse /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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