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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New UA law clinic to provide resources to agricultural industry

Victoria Pereira

The James E. Rogers College of Law is developing a new law clinic that addresses the legal needs of ranchers, farmers, miners, and others whose occupations involve the use of natural resources.

The UA is creating a law clinic to provide resources to farmers, ranchers, miners and businesses in Arizona that use natural resources. Trained and supervised students will specialize and work with these businesses to address the particular legal needs of the agriculture industry.

The James E. Rodgers College of Law and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Cooperative Extension System will set up a Natural Resources Users Law and Policy Center (NRULPC). The center will work primarily with individual companies including businesses run by families or small entities that handle matters related to land, environment, tourism, water, employment, trade and food safety and security, according to the center’s website.

“The Cooperative Extension System has a long history of bringing UA expertise to bear on practical issues and problems encountered by citizens of Arizona,” Jeff Silvertooth, director of UA Cooperative Extension, said according to the James E. Rodgers College of Law website. “This new partnership will allow us to serve even more Arizonans and contribute to the economic development of the state.”

According to the website, both colleges are organizing a nationwide search for a Policy Center director to lead the NRULPC in a successful direction. The director will help with stakeholders, mentoring student clinicians and the designing of the Policy Center’s structure.

Oftentimes, businesses who use natural resources cannot afford to regulate the common issues that include the environment and everything revolving around it. NRULPC will guide those in need with advice from private legal counsel.

Andy Groseta, owner of Groseta Ranches, said on the site that in addition to a generous service, the students being trained for the Policy Center will receive connections to new educational and career opportunities.

“I am very pleased the UA is stepping up to the plate in being a nationally recognized leader to provide legal and policy solutions for natural resource use not only in Arizona, but throughout the nation,” Groseta said.

Michael Melitz, a history sophomore, said the NRULPC will give the UA positive exposure and an opportunity to give back to the community and throughout Arizona.

“We are Arizona’s first university so it would only make sense for us to host the Policy Center,” Melitz said. “I’m not going to be a lawyer, but I do know that obtaining natural resources can be highly expensive and if these trained students are participating to help the Policy Center, then that will open multiple doors for them where I could only see this law clinic being beneficial for everyone.”

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