Five students in the Environmental Law Clinic volunteered at this year’s American Bar Association (ABA) Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources’ (SEER) Fall Conference, held here in Baltimore on October 18-21, 2017. Students helped with the organization of the conference and also attended multiple panels at the conference. This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to learn about the current landscape of environmental law, meet and hear from attorneys currently practicing in the field, and attend specific skill development sessions. A few of them shared their experience with us.
Second year, Amelia Whiting had the opportunity to attend a skill development panel on Negotiation Skills in Complex Environmental Claims where the panelist discussed how negotiation should be part of the trial strategy, the numerous considerations that a court will review before accepting a settlement, and how a mediator can facilitate the settlement process. Arlynnell Dickson, also a second year, attended a panel about the Chesapeake Bay Initiative. Arlynnell took a lot away from the panel, in sharing her take away from the experience Arlynnell said “I thought it was interesting that the panel involved Holly Evans, Senior Attorney for Microsoft, who explained the role of technology and grants in the Chesapeake Bay restoration. Microsoft partnered with the Chesapeake Conservancy to develop software that enhances geographic maps for targeted conservation. I learned a lot about the restoration efforts and where we need to focus our attention moving forward to meet TMDL limits.” Another second year clinic student, Emily Bryant said the conference gave her a sense of the vast scope of environmental issues and stakeholders that exist, while also providing her with in-depth previews of what to expect during the new administration in the area of climate change, and ways to avoid ethical potholes in the field of environmental law.
All of the students that attended felt that the conference explored topics relevant to current clinic matters. The students also all felt that it was useful to hear from and meet a variety of stakeholders from different levels of government, the nonprofit sector, private firms, and more. A big thanks to the ABA for allowing us to participate in this event!