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About This Journal

The Seattle Journal of Environmental Law (SJEL) is a co-curricular journal at the Seattle University School of Law, and the first environmental law journal in Washington State.

The current iteration of the environmental journal is a built upon a foundation that was formed over seven years ago, when the Seattle University School of Law Environmental Law Society (ELS) began publishing Environmental Perspectives, a legal magazine that included articles submitted by academics, practitioners, and students. In June 2008, the ELS Executive Board began a grassroots campaign to transform Perspectives into a school-supported, co-curricular journal. The Board created a management structure, invited students to apply, solicited article submissions, and garnered faculty support.

In April 2009, the first ever Bellwether: The Seattle Journal for Environmental Law and Policy was published. Although not an official co-curricular journal, the goal of the April 2009 edition was to resemble a school-supported journal as much as possible. Bellwether’s April 2009 Edition was a symposium issue focused upon the intersection of Environmental Law and Indian Law. Journal staff accepted six submissions from practitioners, students, and tribal government leaders. Scholarly works included in this issue ranged from articles on the effect of environmental regulation on the Columbia Basin to using Tribal Treaty Rights to protect the environment. The issue also included a practice guide on how tribes can approach air programs and a short note from a leading tribal activist about the role of tribes in protecting the environment.

The next iteration of the journal was published in June 2010 as the Seattle Environmental Law Journal (SELJ). Following in the footsteps of Bellwether, SELJ continued to grow, but still lacked faculty and administrative sanctioning. As a result, in the spring of 2010, the incoming Editorial Board began creating a blueprint for a new journal. Drawing from suggestions made by SU faculty, local practitioners, students, and academics from around the country, the Board embarked on the design of an online journal, featuring shorter, timelier pieces in addition to the more traditional law journal articles. In July 2010, the SU faculty approved SJEL as the third co-curricular publication at the school.

After garnering faculty and administrative sanctioning, the current form of the journal took shape. Volume 1 of SJEL was published on the online platform throughout the 2010-2011 academic year and following summer. It totaled 170 pages and included nine articles: five from professors, three from practitioners, and one from a non-SU student.

Volume 2 of SJEL, published on the online platform throughout the 2011-2012 academic year, totaled 431 pages and included three articles from professors, three articles from practitioners, and four student articles that represented the top selections written by the 2010-2011 2L Staff Editors.Volume 3 of SJEL published on the online platform throughout the 2012-2013 academic year, and was memorialized in a print version in May 2013. Volume 3 of SJEL totaled 321 pages and included eleven articles. Of the eleven articles, three were written by professors, four were written by practitioners, and four were written by SJEL student staff members.

Volume 4 of SJEL has been produced. Content development began in April 2013 and seven articles were chosen for publication. Publishing on the online platform occurred throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, and the print version was published in May 2014.​

Volume 5 of SJEL is has been published, and it is currently being uploaded, along with Volumes 1 through 4, to our new webpage. We are in the introductory stages of Volume 6. We are covering some great topics in Volume 6, but we are still accepting submissions as we finalize this year's contents.