Third year student Taylor Lilley spent her summer as Kellogg Law Fellow for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Office of General Counsel. The NAACP Office of General Counsel maintains an active docket of civil rights cases and frequently works in conjunction with cooperating lawyers from around the nation to address civil rights violations.
As a law fellow, Lilley was able to explore her interest in environmental justice and meet experienced attorneys in the field. As part of an assignment given by the General Counsel, Lilley drafted an affirmative litigation proposal that endeavored to establish a substantive right to clean air and water. During the NAACP’s National Convention, Lilley helped to coordinate a panel on Environmental Justice which provided opportunities to discuss the status of environmental law and civil rights in the United States with the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice department and a senior attorney from the Southern Environmental Law Center. Lilley also worked with the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program to draft a proposal to bring together lawyers from all over the country to address the challenges presented by climate change.
Lilley valued being a part of an organization dedicated to ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality for all minority group citizens and described the experience as “incomparable.” Lilley stated that “it was humbling to work for the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization but more importantly I felt that I was able to learn a great deal about civil rights law and legal activism and gain an appreciation for what it means to be a civil rights lawyer.”