June 01, 2011
Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders of Wildlife, Washington D.C.
The PILP stipend allowed me to spend my summer working at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, DC. Defenders of Wildlife is one of the country’s leading organizations dedicated to science-based, results-oriented wildlife conservation. Defenders is committed to saving imperiled wildlife and championing the Endangered Species Act, the landmark law that protects them. Defenders is a national, nonprofit membership organization working to protect and restore America’s native wildlife, safeguard habitat, resolve conflicts, work across international borders, and educate and mobilize the public.
I chose to work at Defenders because it is a well respected organization among the science and legal community alike and because Defenders works on many issues that are close to my heart. Prior to law school I worked as a wildlife biologist and thus I was familiar with the good work being done at Defenders. As a legal intern at Defenders I helped to write a brief to support the listing of the Cook Inlet beluga whale as an endangered species. I also conducted legal research and wrote internal memoranda on a number of different issues related to the protection of forests, sea turtles, whales, and other wildlife species. In addition, I was able to participate in conference calls with co-counsel and clients, and observe a court hearing and a House subcommittee meeting.