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Professor Jody Freeman Featured on PBS show about the Constitution

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Photo used with Permission of Twin Cities Public Television.

Professor Freeman rode a Harley and spoke about federalism on the first episode of Constitution USA, a program airing over four Tuesdays this month on PBS. The series is hosted by Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!, who decided to travel around the country to learn more about the Constitution. In the first episode, “A More Perfect Union,” Sagal promised to explore “how it works and how it doesn’t . . . how it unites us as a nation and how it has nearly torn us apart.”

Sagal says, “We revere the Constitution and for good reason. When it was written in 1789, it was revolutionary, an owner’s manual for a new nation, setting up an entirely new form of government.” However, he also noted that the Constitution didn’t provide all the answers. “It seems we’ve been having the same debate for 225 years, trying to figure out who should win in the tug-of-war between the states and the federal government. The issues may have changed but the struggle for power just goes on and on.”

After riding across the Golden Gate Bridge on a motorcycle with Peter Sagal, Professor Freeman talked about times when it makes sense for the federal government to act.

Photo used with Permission of Twin Cities Public Television.

“When the federal government sets efficiency standards, . . . they’re creating incredible gains for the whole society. If you can put more energy efficient lightbulbs in, then you save a huge amount of money for consumers – everybody’s electric bills go down – and we save a bunch of pollution that we create by burning the energy to create the electricity. No one person has the incentive to do that and sometimes they lack the information to do it. That’s … justification for the federal role in setting those kinds of standards.”

When Sagal asked about the competing interest of liberty – for instance, the interest that Kentucky may have in burning more coal – Professor Freeman said, “The problem is that when you burn that coal and you produce sulfur dioxide, and soot, and smog, that drifts from Kentucky or the state you imagine to other states and you create a cross-state problem. That’s a classic situation when you need the federal government to solve [a] problem.”

Photo used with Permission of Twin Cities Public Television.

Sagal then wondered if we’ll ever resolve the federal-state power struggle. Professor Freeman said, “I hope we don’t. . . . I think what’s fantastic about it is we are having this [struggle] in the context of a legal debate; that is, we’re concerned about what the law ought to be. All you have to do is look around the world to places where that debate is taking place with arms and not taking place on the terrain of law. I think we’ve got a system that works pretty well.”

The entire episode can be viewed here (Professor Freeman begins around minute 47): http://video.pbs.org/video/2365006249/.

Policy Initiative Releases Report on Fracking Chemical Disclosure

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The Policy Initiative issued “Legal Fractures: Why the Voluntary Chemical Disclosure Registry Fails as a Regulatory Compliance Tool,” a report questioning the reliance of eleven states on a third party website for oil and gas industry reporting requirements. The two-year-old registry, FracFocus, is intended to  provide information to the public about the chemicals used in unconventional drilling techniques like hydraulic fracturing. But several design flaws make it an inadequate tool for regulatory compliance. The report is available here.

Update:  In an April 23 statement responding to “Legal Fractures,” officials from the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC), one agency involved in creating FracFocus, indicated they do notify states when companies file.  According to EnergyWire, in a story that ran April 24, 2013, “[i]t is then up to state officials to determine if the disclosures were filed in time and whether companies are following the rules governing trade secrets, the GWPC statement said.”  We will reach out to the GWPC to learn more about the process they outlined in their statement.

 

Professor Lazarus Discusses Environmental Lawlessness in Chair Lecture

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Richard Lazarus, the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law, explained the current state of “environmental lawlessness” in his chair lecture April 10. A video recording of the event is available here.

Speaking before a crowd of family, students, colleagues, and friends—including Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts—Professor Lazarus described how environmental law has fallen “in arrears.”  After a period of legal and policy innovation that resulted in landmark statutes like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, Congress has not passed a major new environmental statute or amendment since 1990, he said.  The result of this stagnation is a growing mismatch between contemporary technology and environmental issues and outdated, inflexible statutes.  

Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow introduced Professor Lazarus, praising his experience litigating before the Supreme Court, his commitment to environmental law, and his devotion to students.

Howard Aibel ’51 has had a wide-ranging legal career, from developing the mediation practice at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae to serving as internal antitrust litigation counsel at General Electric .  His wife, Katherine Aibel, was a social worker and volunteer court-appointed guardian.  She passed away in 2006.

 

Sierra Club Environmental Law Internship

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POSITION: Summer Intern in the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program at Sierra Club’s Washington, DC office

TERM: Summer 2013

HOURS: Full time for 10 weeks

SALARY: Funding may be available

CREDIT: Academic credit possible, depending on your school’s policy

DEADLINE: Applications are due February 1, 2013, but students are strongly urged to apply early, as the positions fill quickly.

DESCRIPTION

The Sierra Club is the nation’s leader in grassroots environmental litigation. The Club’s Environmental Law Program develops and prosecutes the legal strategies for the Sierra Club’s nationwide grassroots campaigns. The Law Program’s cases center on the Club’s three overarching conservation initiatives: promoting smart energy solutions, building safe and healthy communities, and protecting America’s wild legacy.

The Sierra Club Environmental Law Program hires law students interested in public interest, environmental litigation to assist with these strategic lawsuits. Semester externs work on all aspects of litigation, including undertaking legal research, preparing written memoranda, and conducting factual investigation. Depending on the cases to which the interns are assigned, students may also draft notice letters, briefs and other pleadings, attend court appearances, and work on discovery. During the course of the program, students typically work with several of the Club’s attorneys, thus gaining exposure to a wide range of litigation styles. The internship program also includes informal discussions on various environmental litigation topics.

Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse workforce.

QUALIFICATIONS: Solid writing and analytic skills, as well as good interpersonal skills. An environmental law background is preferable, but not a requirement.

TO APPLY: Send cover letter, resume, references, writing sample and law school transcript1 to:

Sherri Liang, Program Assistant

Sierra Club Environmental Law Program

50 F Street, NW, Eighth Floor

Washington, DC 20001

202-495-3059

 sherri.liang at sierraclub.org

(Electronic applications preferred)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.sierraclub.org/environmentall…

1 First-year students should supply a transcript as soon as it becomes available and should indicate on their applications when grades are expected.

Environmental Defense Fund, One Year Legal Fellowships

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Covey Fellowships for Summer Work in Public Interest Environmental Law

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The Environmental Law Program is offering four $7,500 fellowships to Harvard Law School students doing work within the public interest environmental law field during the summer of 2013. Qualifying work could include positions at government entities, NGOs, or other public interest organizations working on issues such as climate change, land acquisition and management, pollution control, energy, carbon trading, environmental justice, or biodiversity conservation. This is not an exclusive list of employers or fields, and students are invited to think broadly about work that might qualify.

Applicants should be students who are returning to HLS in the fall of 2013. Experience with environmental law is not a requirement for the fellowship, and those new to the field are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should first secure their summer position, and then apply for the fellowship; applications by students who have not secured a summer position will not be considered. The Environmental Law Program may be able to assist students in making contact with potential employers with which the Program has a relationship; students interested in soliciting the Environmental Law Program’s assistance in this fashion should contact Kathy Curley at  curley at law.harvard.edu.

Applications should include: a description of the organization where the student will be employed, a brief description of the summer projects the applicant will undertake, the name of the applicant’s supervisor, a resume, transcript, and a statement of interest conveying the reasons why the applicant was drawn to the job and any background the applicant has in environmental law. Applications should be submitted by April 26, 2013 to Kathy Curley at  curley at law.harvard.edu. Successful applicants will be notified by May 15, 2013.

Questions regarding the Covey Fellowships should be directed to  curley at law.harvard.edu.

 

Southern Environmental Law Center, Energy Attorney

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The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking an attorney with three or more years of experience to lead a regional solar energy initiative. The position will be based in either SELC’s Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, or Atlanta office, depending on applicant preference. This is an excellent opportunity to join an organization that is successfully addressing some of the most important and challenging environmental issues facing the Southeast and the nation.

About SELC: With offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Birmingham, AL; and Nashville, TN), SELC uses law and policy expertise to protect the South’s natural resources—its land, air, water, coast and wetlands—and to preserve our rural countryside and community character. Although our regional focus is the Southeast, much of our work is national in scope and impact.

SELC works collaboratively with over 100 national, state, and local groups to enhance their efficacy and achieve our common conservation goals. Our legal and policy staff comprises some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields, and over its 26-year history, SELC has earned a reputation as one of the most effective environmental organizations in the country. We have a staff of over 100, including 53 attorneys. Additional information regarding our work and staff is available at www.southernenvironment.org.

About the position: Solar energy is a greatly undervalued and underutilized resource in the Southeast. Working with SELC’s Clean Energy team of 15 lawyers, the leader of our solar energy initiative will be responsible for working with solar energy advocates, business leaders, and policy makers to design and implement strategies to overcome barriers to solar energy development regionally. Work will include policy analysis and development in various settings at the state and federal levels and advocacy in state and federal administrative proceedings.

Compensation: SELC offers salaries competitive with leading national environmental non-profits, and an excellent benefits package.

Qualifications: We are seeking an attorney with strong analytic and strategic thinking skills, a strong work ethic, and a sense of initiative. The ideal candidate will be a skilled and multi-faceted lawyer with excellent academic credentials, a background in energy law, strong communication and interpersonal skills, a demonstrated ability to work well in a collegial setting, and a strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission.

To Apply: If you have these qualifications and are seeking one of the most interesting, challenging, and rewarding environmental advocacy positions available, please send your letter of interest, resume, law school transcript, and at least three references to Nathan Pace, Southern Environmental Law Center, 201 West Main Street, Suite 14, Charlottesville, VA 22902, or email  VAjobs at selcva.org.

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is continually seeking to diversify its staff. We strongly encourage applications from persons of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

February 2013

Staff Attorney, Charlottesville Virginia Office

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The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking a staff attorney with three or more years of experience for its Charlottesville, Virginia office. This is an excellent opportunity to join an organization that is successfully addressing some of the most important and challenging environmental issues facing the Southeast and the nation.

About SELC: With offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Birmingham, AL; and Nashville, TN), SELC uses law and policy expertise to protect the South’s natural resources—its land, air, water, mountains, forests, coast and wetlands—and to preserve our rural countryside and community character. Although our regional focus is the Southeast, much of our work is national in scope and impact.

SELC works collaboratively with over 100 national, state, and local groups to enhance their efficacy and achieve our common conservation goals. Our legal and policy staff comprises some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields, and over its 27-year history, SELC has earned a reputation as one of the most effective environmental organizations in the country. We have a staff of over 100, including 53 attorneys. Additional information regarding our work and staff is available at www.southernenvironment.org.

About the position: This is principally a litigation position and responsibilities will emphasize litigation in state and federal courts and related advocacy in state and federal administrative proceedings. In addition, SELC lawyers also are expected to develop policy expertise in one or two of our program areas.

Compensation: SELC offers salaries competitive with leading national environmental non-profits, and an excellent benefits package.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will be a skilled and multi-faceted lawyer with litigation experience, excellent academic credentials, a background in environmental law, strong communication and interpersonal skills, a demonstrated ability to work well in a collegial setting, and a strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission.

To Apply: If you have these qualifications and are seeking one of the most interesting, challenging, and rewarding environmental advocacy positions available, please send your letter of interest, resume, law school transcript, and at least three references to Katie Storer, Southern Environmental Law Center, 201 West Main Street, Suite 14, Charlottesville, VA 22902, or email  VAjobs at selcva.org.

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is continually seeking to diversify its staff. We strongly encourage applications from persons of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. 

February 2013

Associate Attorney, Land & Community Program, Charlottesville, Virginia

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The Southern Environmental Law Center is accepting applications for an attorney position in its Charlottesville, Virginia office. This is a two-year position with the possibility of an extension to a third year. We are seeking a committed and energetic person with strong legal skills to work on a range of land use and transportation issues in Charlottesville and throughout Virginia. This is an excellent opportunity to join an organization that is successfully addressing some of the most important and challenging environmental issues facing the Southeast and the nation.

About SELC and the Land and Community Program: With offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Birmingham, AL; and Nashville, TN), SELC uses law and policy expertise to protect the South’s natural resources—its land, air, water, coast and wetlands—and to preserve our rural countryside and community character. Although our regional focus is the Southeast, much of our work is national in scope and impact.

SELC works collaboratively with over 100 national, state, and local groups to enhance their efficacy and achieve our common conservation goals. Our legal and policy staff comprises some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields, and over its 27-year history, SELC has earned a reputation as one of the most effective environmental organizations in the country. We currently have a staff of over 100, including 53 attorneys. Additional information regarding our work and staff is available at www.southernenvironment.org.

About the Position: Our Land & Community Program uses legal advocacy, policy reform, and public education to promote smarter growth and more sustainable transportation policies, and we have a special project focusing on land use and transportation issues in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The associate attorney will work closely with more senior attorneys and policy experts and will have a wide range of legal and policy responsibilities. The work will include legal research and writing, policy analysis and development, attending local government hearings and meetings, public speaking, and coordination with other organizations.

Qualifications and Salary: This entry level position is open to recent law school graduates and practicing attorneys. We are seeking candidates with outstanding writing, analytic, interpersonal, and speaking skills, with a high degree of initiative. A master’s degree in planning and/or experience with land use and transportation planning is strongly preferred, and a strong academic background and commitment to SELC’s mission are required. Salary $56-60,000 depending on experience, and we offer an excellent benefits package. Start date is summer 2013.

To Apply: All applications must be in writing and include a letter of interest, resume, transcript, and at least three references. Applications should be sent as soon as possible to Katie Storer, Southern Environmental Law Center, 201 West Main Street, Suite 14, Charlottesville, VA 22902, or e-mailed  toVAjobs at selcva.org.

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is continually seeking to diversify its staff. We strongly encourage applications from persons of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. February 2013

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