Students in multiple legacy universities filed complaints Wednesday to their respective attorney’s general seeking to force their schools to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The novel legal strategy, developed with the Climate Defense Project, escalates long-running efforts across the country to persuade and pressure school officials that, with some notable exceptions, have been largely unsuccessful so far. The complaints, filed by students at Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Yale (which hold $150 billion in their combined endowments), seek state investigations into whether the schools’ investments violate state laws governing investments by nonprofit institutions, and a federal law requiring universities to invest their resources consistent with socially beneficial ends. They also argue the investments in fossil fuels are poor financial investments. (Washington Post $, The Guardian, Grist, Yale Environment 360)