On April 14 and 15, 1989, over three hundred environmental practitioners, academics, and law students gathered in New Haven for a symposium celebrating the last twenty years of environmental law and the contributions of Yale Law School graduates to its evolution. The impetus for the symposium was the twentieth anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act, the first major federal environmental legislation. Building on this cornerstone, a pioneering group of young environmentalists developed a new field of public interest law in the early 1970s. They founded organizations, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund, and conducted major litigation that shaped the development of environmental law.

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