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Public Interest Law Project

Sara Blankenship

June 01, 2013

Erskine B. Wood Hall

This summer I worked for the Earthrise Law Center, a nonprofit environmental law firm located here at the law school. I am very grateful to have received a PILP stipend as it enabled me to work at Earthrise and thus pursue my passion for public interest environmental law for the entire summer. By spending four months at Earthrise, I was able to continually work on cases, including those seeking to protect Oregon’s forests and wildlife, as well as a national-level case concerning Arkansas’ Buffalo National River. Through my work, I was able to see first-hand how litigation progresses. For example, my first weeks in May were dedicated to working on a motion for a preliminary injunction in an Oregon-based timber sale case. After a July hearing, which I was able to attend, the motion was dismissed. By my final PILP stipend-supported week in August, I was still working on this case and helped finalize and file a Ninth Circuit appellate brief. Without financial support from PILP, I would not have been able to stay and experience the developments and issues that arise in complex litigation nor gain such critical exposure to the many facets of public interest environmental law. 

I appreciate PILP’s commitment to all forms of public interest work, including environmental law.  Through PILP’s stipend, I was able to make the most out of my summer externship and truly hope that Earthrise and its nonprofit clients benefitted from having additional support on their cases. There is no question that thanks to the PILP stipend, I gained critical experience in litigation, environmental and administrative law, and honed my legal writing, research, and document review skills. I encourage anyone who is interested in public service to support PILP and its noble mission to help support those who are passionate about public interest law and seek to contribute to such important work.