Environmental Law Diversity Program

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The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Environmental Law Program is committed to fostering diversity at the law school and in the broader legal community. The Environmental Diversity Program was founded to promote diversity in the practice of environmental law by providing support for diverse students at the law school. These students should demonstrate an on-going commitment to working in and providing diversity to the field of environmental law.

Law is one of the least racially diverse professions, with the environmental law field being measurably less diverse than the legal profession generally. This Diversity Program is designed to increase diversity in the environmental law field. The Environmental Law Program is thankful for the contributions of the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that advocates for effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP is comprised of former EPA enforcement attorneys, public interest lawyers, analysts, investigators, and community organizers, all fighting the good fight to help protect our environment.  Thank you to EIP for their generosity that made this Diversity Program possible.

The Diversity Program has two components:

EIP Environmental Diversity Scholarships: Scholarship(s) of up to $10,000 per year for recipient(s) who bring diversity to the environmental law field and have demonstrated a commitment to practice environmental law after graduation. This scholarship opportunity is open to 2L and 3L students (preferred) but can also be made available to incoming law students.

Environmental Diversity Fellowships: 
Summer grant(s) of up to $5,000 funded by EIP and the Environmental Law Program. The summer grants are dedicated to students who bring diversity to the environmental law field and have secured unpaid positions working on environmental matters for non-profit or government entities as a summer law clerk.

2022: April Banks - April is entering her 2LE year studying Environmental Law.  April’s career goal is to work as an attorney in the field of Environmental Law with a focus on advocating for communities affected by environmental injustice, while also working to strengthen environmental laws in both the United States and globally. April currently works for the federal government while also studying at the UM Carey School of Law.

2022: Marcus Jones - Marcus is entering his 2L year as a JD-MPH candidate studying both public health and environmental law here at the Carey School of Law. One of Marcus’ career goals is to combine both environmental law and public health law to work on legal issues concerning environmental justice, climate change and other emerging environmental topics that impact the quality of life of individuals and the conservation of the global ecosystem.

2021: Robert Valazquez

“I spent my 1L summer as a legal intern for the Ike Jime Federation (“IJF” or “the Federation”). The IJF is a company dedicated to improving the value proposition of American fish and seafood despite a regulatory context that, unlike their “agricultural” counterparts, has historically undermined such value. Principled on the same method of slaughter that has given rise to the premium seafood economy in Japan, the Federation argues that if the commercial seafood industry were subject to the same or similar “slaughtering” protocols set forth in the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958 (“HMSA”), which at present only apply to cattle, pork, and other livestock, the American domestic seafood economy would be radically transformed. Absent such legislation, however, the IJF has worked to develop its own fish handling protocols, standards, and tools that are informed by the same scientific rigor that gave rise to the HMSA. Read more here.)

Read more about Robert's internship experience