Campus Representative Program

The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) works to defend climate scientists who are dragged into litigation or otherwise threatened with legal attacks and harassment by politically and ideologically motivated groups. We also educate members of the scientific community to help them gain a better understanding of the legal issues surrounding their work.

Since 2011, we’ve helped over a hundred researchers, conducted legal education workshops for scientists and lawyers, and developed a network of pro bono lawyers ready to assist scientists.

CSLDF is launching a Campus Representative Program to further engage attorneys in helping scientists understand how to protect themselves from harassment and legal attacks. Our goal is to build a network of lawyers who will be the first point of contact for scientists with questions about legal issues. Campus Reps are not expected to provide direct representation to scientists, but instead serve as an educational resource and help direct scientists to CSLDF as needed.

Our first cohort will consist of approximately 20 law school faculty from around the United States who will volunteer their time to assist scientists on their campus. CSLDF will provide Campus Reps with materials that will help them understand the legal issues facing scientists and prepare to support scientists; participants will also receive ongoing support from CSLDF.

Below are details on eligibility, expectations, and how to apply. You can also download a PDF of the program announcement.

Anyone with a JD or LLM who is interested in working with scientists at their institution is welcome to apply; adjuncts and fellows can also participate.

We ask that all participants:

  • Attend a one-day training in New York City on Friday, April 28, 2017
  • Host an educational workshop (all materials for these will be provided by CSLDF) for scientists on their campus once per semester
  • Meet with scientists who have concerns on an as-needed basis
  • Meet periodically with their university counsel and communications department, ideally once per semester
  • Refer academics in need to CSLDF
  • Allow CSLDF to add their contact information to our website
  • Maintain communication with CSLDF about their activities and progress

Program Training: April 28, 2017
All Campus Reps must attend a one-day workshop at Columbia University Law School in New York City on Friday, April 28. Video conferencing will be available, but we strongly urge everyone to attend in person.

CSLDF will reserve a block of hotel rooms near Columbia University and provide a stipend of up to $500 to cover workshop travel and accommodation.

The workshop will be led by Lauren Kurtz, executive director of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, and will prepare Campus Reps to support and assist scientists.

Tentative Workshop Agenda

9:00-9:30 Overview of issues: climate scientists and harassment
9:30-10:30 How to set up a campus program
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:00 Legal harassment of scientists
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Doxxing and targeting of scientists in the media
2:00-5:00 Open dialogue to develop campus plans
7:00 Group dinner (optional)

Application Procedure

If you’d like to become a CSLDF Campus Rep, please complete this online application form by Friday, March 31, 2017. As part of the application, you will be asked to provide short answers to the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in participating in this program?
  • Do you have existing relationships with science departments on your campus?
  • How comfortable are you talking with and counseling scientists?
  • How comfortable do you feel conducting outreach in your local legal community, in case a scientist needs direct representation in your jurisdiction?

Questions? Contact Rebecca Fowler at