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, along with 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.

SJEL has continued to publish issues each year since its inception, and has included articles written by students, practitioners, and professors on a wide variety of topics. Every issue is available here on the on-line platform as well as on Westlaw, and many are also available in print upon request.