Camille Pannu

Co-Director, Community and Economic Development Clinic


Professor Camille Pannu joined the University of California, Davis, School of Law in October 2016 as the inaugural director of the Aoki Water Justice Clinic, the first clinic of its kind in the nation. The Water Justice Clinic partners with low-income rural communities, water providers, and local and tribal governments to prevent drinking water disasters and address current failures in the provision of safe and affordable water. Using an explicit racial and economic justice lens, the Water Justice Clinic combines transactional law, policy advocacy, and strategic research to ensure low-income California communities receive clean, safe, and affordable drinking water. Students in the clinic provide direct legal assistance and advice to clients on governance (entity choice); post-disaster recovery; finance, funding, and rate policies; the creation of joint powers agreements; regulatory compliance; and proposals to consolidate water systems. Clinic students draft land contracts, agreements between water users and water systems, applications and resolutions for local government reorganization, incorporation documents and applications for tax exemption, bylaws and internal policies, and comment letters addressing administrative proposals and legislation that will affect access to safe drinking water.

Professor Pannu’s practice draws on principles of community lawyering and uses transactional law tools to achieve environmentally just outcomes for low-income communities. Her research focuses on structural racism, poverty, and environmental inequality in low-income, rural and unincorporated communities. Her work interrogates how groups leverage power through corporate law and local government to assert control over shared environmental resources and essential infrastructure.

Prior to joining UC Davis, Professor Pannu served as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the southern San Joaquin Valley, where she partnered with low-income communities of color to address poverty, and racial and environmental inequality. Her project provided direct transactional legal services and support to Valley communities who sought to establish “green-collar” worker cooperatives, community-owned enterprises, and essential infrastructure projects (water, wastewater, energy, flood, roads). After her fellowship, she served as a clerk to the Honorable Stefan R. Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, and the Honorable Richard A. Paez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Pannu maintains an active pro bono practice, and she currently serves on the Board of Directors of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., and on the Legal Committee of the ACLU of Northern California.

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