In 2012, we asked the 279 Earthrise (formerly known as PEAC, and before that, Environmental Practicum) alumni to share information about their professional lives and memories of participating as student attorneys with us. One alum said it all, in the way only a lawyer can—with numbered bullets!
“This is a very difficult question as there were many memorable experiences at Earthrise. Some notable ones include:
- The surprise each week of what we were having for lunch and how impressed I was by the creativity and deliciousness of the food.
- The weekly strategy/update meetings with my supervising attorneys. Working closely with Earthrise attorneys was tremendously valuable in learning firsthand how to manage cases, work with clients, and think critically and creatively in developing legal arguments and strategies.
- The commitment and support of each Earthrise attorney to helping the students become better advocates during clinic and getting started in our legal careers.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY—The everlasting community and friendship that Earthrise creates among professors, staff, students, and alumni is truly unique and an incredible asset to all involved!”
Thank you to all alumni who responded! If you are an alum who would like to send your feedback, but missed our email invitation to complete the survey, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read on for highlights from the survey and, below, spotlights on individual alums.
Earthrise has 279 alumni.
- 110 currently hold positions specializing in Environmental or Natural Resources Law
- 7 identify their current practice as “litigation” (non-environmental)
- 13 specialize in energy law
- 73 are in private law firm practice
- 63 work for non-profits
- 19 work in US government positions
- 18 are sole practitioners
- 13 work in local government
- 9 work in state government
- 9 are academics
- 7 work in the Judiciary (permanent)
- 7 are in industry in-house counsel positions
48 Non-Profits Employ Earthrise Alums
- Earthrise Law Center
- Trustees for Alaska
- Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
- Advocates for the West
- 1000 Friends of Oregon
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Animal Welfare Institute
- Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment
- Audubon Society of Portland
- Center for Biological Diversity
- Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest
- Columbia Riverkeeper
- Crag Law Center
- Emerald Cities Portland
- Environmental Integrity Project
- Friends of the Earth
- Gifford Pinchot Task Force
- Hackensack Riverkeeper
- Health First Wisconsin
- Hells Canyon Preservation Council
- Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Fund
- Legal Aid Services of Oregon
- Michigan Environmental Council
- Multnomah Defenders
- National Wildlife Federation
- Northwest Environmental Defense Center
- Neighbors for Clean Air
- Northern Alaska Environmental Center
- Ocean Conservancy
- Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
- Oregon Natural Desert Association
- Regional Marine Conservation Project
- Rising Tide Strategies
- Santa Monica Baykeeper
- Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition
- Sierra Club
- Siskiyou Land Trust
- Society for Conservation Biology
- Southern Utah Wilderness Association
- The Center for Food Safety
- The Freshwater Trust
- The Wilderness Society
- WaterWatch of Oregon
- Western Environmental Law Center
- Wild Salmon Center
- Willamette Riverkeeper
- Power Past Coal Coalition
US Government Positions
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Environmental Protection Agency
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- U.S. Department of Justice
- U.S. Department of Interior
- U.S. Department of Energy
State Government Positions
- Oregon Department of Justice
- Oregon Office of the Governor
- California Department of Fish and Game
- California Department of Health Care Services
- State of Alaska Public Defender
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Local Government Positions
- City Attorney’s Office City of Portland, OR
- Community Development Director City of Newport, OR
- Director of Transportation City of Portland, OR
- City of San Diego
- City of Vancouver
- King County, WA
- Metro, Oregon
- Multnomah County Attorney
- Port of Portland
- Ventura County, CA, Counsel
Prominent Law Firms
- Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo PC
- AterWynne LLP
- Cable Huston Benedict Haagensen & Lloyd LLP
- Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue LLP
- Karnopp Petersen LLP
- Perkins Coie LLP
- Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP
- Smith and Lowney PLLC
- Stoel Rives LLP
- Vanness Feldman
Locations (Unknown: 50)
- Portland: 74
- California: 25
- Oregon (non-Portland): 24
- Washington DC area: 22
- Alaska: 12
- Washington: 12
- Arizona: 5
- Texas: 4
- Illinois: 4
- Colorado: 4
- Idaho: 3
- North Carolina: 3
- Wisconsin: 3
- New York: 3
- Georgia: 2
- Michigan: 2
- Minnesota: 2
- Conn.: 2
- Nevada: 2
- Florida: 2
- Utah: 2
- Ohio: 1
- Louisiana: 1
- New Mexico: 1
- New Jersey: 1
- Wyoming: 1
- West Virginia: 1
- Vermont: 1
- Mass.: 1
- Pennsylvania: 1
- The Hague: 1
- Oklahoma: 1
Roger Alfred ’93
Senior Assistant Attorney, Metro
I’ve been practicing almost exclusively in Oregon land use law for over 15 years, and recently landed my “dream job” at Metro, where I represent the regional government on land use and transportation planning issues, notably the Portland region’s UGB and light rail issues. Was previously in private practice at Perkins Coie for 12 years, and an Assistant AG in the Natural Resources Section at Oregon DOJ prior to that.
My most memorable experience was working with professor Dan Rohlf on a Ninth Circuit brief while in law school and feeling like I was finally doing something real with my legal training.
John H. Martin III ’95
Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice
I don’t recall specific cases, but I do credit Earthrise for showing me that it is possible for a few dedicated people to dig into an issue, build a case from the ground up, and force change. I called on that experience for confidence in my first lawyer job (essentially a small town two person practice) while trying to force the EPA and federal agencies to address impacts of a poorly reclaimed hard rock mine on my indian tribal clients. We successfully had EPA take over a cleanup, list the site on the NPL, and force the mining company to resume responsibility and liability.
I have been a trial lawyer with the US DOJ for the last 11 years, after six years of private practice in Nevada representing Indian Tribes. I have handled many different cases while at DOJ, almost all of them extremely interesting cases that L&C profs prepared me to handle. But most recently I have been focusing on handling cases with ESA and Magnuson Act claims. My most recent big victory (at least on ESA and Magnuson Act grounds) was a successful defense of the National Marine Fisheries curtailment of commercial fisheries in the Aleutian Islands to avoid jeopardy to the ESA-listed stellar sea lion.
Ivan Lieben ’98
Attorney, United States Environmental Protection Agency
San Francisco, California
I have worked with EPA since graduating, first with EPA Region 5 in Chicago for three years, and the rest of the time in EPA Region 9. I focus on Clean Air Act enforcement, though also provide a number of other counseling and enforcement services under TSCA, FIFRA, EPCRA and other statutes. Currently, I develop and litigate new source review cases against cement manufacturers, power plants, and other large scale industrial sources.
Susan Jane Brown ”˜00
Attorney, Western Environmental Law Center, Inc.
Susan Jane Brown is a staff attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC). Her primary focus of litigation is federal public lands forest management, but her practice includes cases involving the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, National Forest Management Act, and other land management statutes. She is also heavily engaged in collaborative forest restoration in the Upper John Day Basin in eastern Oregon.
Susan Jane Brown joined WELC after two years as Natural Resources Council for Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) in Washington, DC. While with Congressman DeFazio, Susan Jane’s portfolio included public lands, environmental, natural resources, agricultural, tribal, and related issues. She was responsible for conducting legal research on, and drafting of, proposed and introduced legislation, and worked with other Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as staff of the House Natural Resources Committee, to enact protective natural resources legislation.
Tom Miller ’01
Director of Transportation, City of Portland, OR
Most Memorable Experience?
Exposure to the everyday reality of environmental law practice.
Jeremy Emmi ’01
RE-AMP Network Coordinator, Michigan Environmental Council
For about a year and a half, I’ve been the RE-AMP Coordinator, coordinating an eight-state network of foundations and nonprofits working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (carbon pollution) in the Midwest. The position is remote, and I am housed at a network partner, the Michigan Environmental Council. I focus on network strategy, theory of change, and the inner workings of foundations and nonprofits. I also work outwardly on issues such as clean energy, energy efficiency, shutting down coal plants, transportation, and state and federal legislation. Before this position, I led a statewide land trust in Michigan for about ten years.
My most memorable Earthrise experience was probably working with professor Stephanie Parent on an ESA case in California. We were suing to protect six endangered and threatened plant species, and I was able to combine my legal knowledge with my undergrad expertise in botany. Stephanie was a wonderful mentor and greatly increased my proficiency in advocacy for the environment.
Peter Mac Lacy ’01
Senior Attorney, Oregon Natural Desert Association
To this day, I’m extremely grateful for the several semesters and one summer I spent working for professor Stephanie Parent. She was an incredible mentor in law school and was instrumental in helping me get off to a great start as a practicing attorney after graduation.
On a lighter note, I will always remember the Mt. Hood walk/run challenge organized by Craig, Dan, and the other extreme athletes at Earthrise!
Samantha Murray ’03
Ecosystem Program Manager, Ocean Conservancy
San Francisco, CA
After law school, I worked for Portland Audubon to establish marine reserves along Oregon’s coastline. In 2005, I took a position in Berkeley, CA, as Conservation Director of Golden Gate Audubon, where I worked to reduce conflicts between avian wildlife and renewable wind energy and restored urban greenspaces. For the last five and a half years, I have been working for Ocean Conservancy, where I helped to design and implement an effective, science-based network of marine protected areas in California. By reaching out to fishermen, scientists and other stakeholders, I connect members of the public and inform sound ecosystem-based marine policy. The last component of California’s statewide network will be completed in early 2013, protecting a total of 16% of state waters.
George Kimbrell ’04
Staff Attorney, The Center For Food Safety
After graduation I clerked for Hon. Ronald M. Gould, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Seattle. Since finishing my clerkship I have worked as staff attorney, and now senior attorney, for the Center for Food Safety (CFS) in Washington, DC, and now in Portland. CFS is a national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. More information can be found at www.centerforfoodsafety.org. I focus on addressing the environmental impacts of industrial agriculture, including genetically engineered crops and foods, pesticides, factory farms, and aquaculture.
Kristin Ruether ’05
Staff Attorney, Advocates for the West
I’m a staff attorney for Advocates for the West, an environmental public interest law firm. I focus on enforcement issues related to public lands livestock grazing, which can devastate native wildlife and water quality on our arid public lands. We have had successes in the past few years in limiting or halting grazing where it conflicts with wildlife including endangered salmon and bull trout, bighorn sheep, and sage-grouse.
Brett VandenHeuvel ’05
Executive Director, Columbia Riverkeeper
Hood River, OR
I love Earthrise. Earthrise was a huge part of my success in learning environmental law, obtaining practical lawyering skills, meeting the right people, and finding work. Earthrise attorneys continue to act as mentors and friends, and are incredibly helpful to my work at Riverkeeper.
Sarah Baker, LLM ’05
Attorney, Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group
Most Memorable Experience: The People!
D. Kevin Shipp ’06
Attorney, Rogers Joseph O’Donnel
San Francisco, CA
Mr. Shipp’s practice focuses on environmental litigation. He represents public and private entities, individuals and non-profit organizations in litigation arising under federal and state environmental laws. He has experience in cases arising under CEQA, CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and the Hazardous Substance Account Act, as well as California common law, and has appeared in cases in state and federal court throughout California.
Got my start litigating citizen suits with Earthrise and have continued in my career as a lawyer.
Katie Strong ’08
Staff Attorney, Trustees for Alaska
My most memorable experience at Earthrise was helping prepare professor Dan Rohlf for oral argument in the desert eagle case and then going down to Phoenix to watch the argument.
Alexander (Ti) Hays ’06
Associate Attorney, The Wilderness Society
Arguing a summary judgment motion in federal district court with professor Melissa Powers. It was the perfect capstone to my third year, and Melissa (and the rest of the Earthrise staff) were just awesome/extremely patient and helpful throughout the argument prep. Plus, we won!
Brook Brisson ’08
Staff Attorney, Trustees for Alaska
After graduating, I clerked at the Alaska Court of Appeals for one year, and then worked in a policy position at the Northern Alaska Environmental Center for a year. In 2010, I started my current position as a staff attorney at Trustees for Alaska. My docket focuses on the Arctic, including protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, coal mining, and public lands and water. The work includes the whole spectrum-coalition strategizing, drafting comments on various permits and agency decisions, analyzing legislation, and litigation. I’m the lead attorney on multiple cases, including cases in Alaska Superior Court, the Alaska Supreme Court, and the US District Court for Alaska. I’ve also had the opportunity to do multiple oral arguments, including one before the Alaska Supreme Court.
At Earthrise, I worked with professor Stephanie Parent on the survey and manage case. She had me do document review and claims analysis for a potential lawsuit. I also drafted the complaint and the brief sections for the claims I developed. It turns out that one of the claims that I analyzed and drafted up was included in the lawsuit and we won that claim when the case was decided on summary judgement about a year and a half later. It was great to see the initial claims review and drafting work that I did move forward and exciting that it was ultimately successful.
Tucker Henson ’08
Attorney, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6
I work for EPA in Region 6 doing water enforcement, wetlands, and oil and gas. I am the lead attorney for Range Resources litigation involving contamination of underground drinking water from hydraulic fracturing. My most memorable experience at Earthrise was seeing chum salmon spawn!
Lori Ann Burd ’09
Attorney, National Wildlife Federation
Right out of law school, I spent two and a half years as staff attorney and campaign manager at Bark. More recently I have been working for the National Wildlife Federation. I was initially hired on as the Tar Sands Litigation Fellow, but my position is now more of a contract attorney position and in addition to working on stopping tar sands oil development I also work on mountain top removal issues. I’m thrilled to be doing this work and feel very fortunate.
There’s no single moment of my time at Earthrise that sticks out. It was a great experience. I loved class time and getting exposure to discussions of legal strategy. I also really appreciated the time I spent with professor Dan Rohlf. He was so patient in explaining issues to me, and his careful editing made me a much better writer. I also learned a lot about interacting with clients and opposing counsel from watching how he approached interactions with them. But really, when I think about my time with Earthrise, I think about the late nights and long hours I spent getting up to speed on issues, doing research, and working on 60 day notices and complaints. I got to taste the feeling of doing exactly what I wanted to do, and use my newly acquired skills to protect endangered species and public lands. What a great feeling.
My experience at Earthrise was integral to every aspect of me getting to work in my chosen profession. Sure, I knew I really wanted to practice environmental law, but this field is incredibly competitive. The experience I gained at Earthrise made me employable. Dan Rohlf was and continues to be an amazing mentor. In short, I might have ended up in a gutter (or doing insurance defense) if it weren’t for Earthrise.
Neal Clark ’09
Attorney, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
I work as a field attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA). We’re based out of Salt Lake City, but I’m living in lovely Moab in southern Utah. My position involves practicing administrative law as well as conducting substantial amounts of field work. I can’t say that I’ve had any huge legal victories since starting here a year and a half ago (although there’ve been many small accomplishments). That said, I consider landing a wonderful job, in an amazing location, doing exactly the kind of work that I aspired to find as quite the accomplishment in and of itself.
A very memorable experience in Earthrise was working on the Ninth Circuit petition for review of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision to permit the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal. Working late nights, taking time off from other obligations in order to research, write and edit, and having the feeling of being directly involved in a pressing issue with real-world deadlines and consequences made for a great experience.
Tarah Heinzen ’09
Attorney, Environmental Integrity Project
After taking the Minnesota bar in 2009, I worked as a consultant for communities organizing against factory farms with the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (www.sraproject.org) for 8 months, then moved to D.C. to take a position as the CAFO law fellow for Environmental Integrity Project (www.environmentalintegrity.org) in May 2010.
I’ve been an EIP attorney for just over 2 years, and am coordinating EIP’s work on CAFOs and the Chesapeake Bay.
Ben Luckett ’10
Staff Attorney, Appalachian Mountain Advocates
Lewisburg, West Virginia
I am a staff attorney with Appalachian Mountain Advocates, a non-profit environmental firm working to protect the southern Appalachian mountains and communities from the harms inflicted by the coal mining (and, increasingly, natural gas fracking) industry. I began my employment with a two-year fellowship but have since been extended. Our primary legal tools are the Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. I have brought CWA and SMCRA citizen suits to control the amount of toxic selenium discharged from mines, resulting in consent decrees that mandate costly treatment systems. I am currently drafting an amicus brief in the DC Circuit in support of EPA’s veto of the CWA 404 permit for one of the largest mountaintop removal mines in history.
Tara Zuardo ’10
Wildlife Legal Associate, Animal Welfare Institute
I work for the Animal Welfare Institute, specializing in wildlife law (specifically, domestic endangered species and wildlife cruelty issues). The cases I’ve worked on have involved coyote penning and night hunting, endangered red wolves, and lethal management of wildlife in national parks. I also work on international commercial trade and captive bred endangered species campaigns, and any policy issues associated with the Endangered Species Act, Lacey Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and other domestic wildlife laws.
I have so many memorable experiences from Earthrise. I probably learned the most from the moot courts done in preparation for 9th circuit arguments, as well as working on a brief for the desert eagles case. Actually having to come up with an argument for a case clarified certain complex sections of laws like the Endangered Species Act that were otherwise unclear from just reading textbooks. Earthrise also provides an excellent opportunity for students to make the connection between how their supervising attorney explains a particular subject to them as a teacher, and then how that attorney explains that same subject to a judge in a court. I really think it is the best way for students to learn how to become attorneys and use arguments to convince a court.
Sara Ghafouri ’10
Judicial Law Clerk, Oregon Court of Appeals
My most memorable experience during my time at Earthrise was when professor Tom Buchele and the summer clerks went on a camping trip at [client] Otto Keller’s property [in central Oregon]. I think it was a great bonding experience for the Earthrise summer clerks.
John Moore ’10
Attorney, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5
I am working as the 2010 Honors Attorney Fellow with Region 5 of the U.S. EPA. I have now developed enforcement actions under almost every statue that EPA enforces. Most significantly, I just completed my first administrative hearing. It was conducted in Cleveland, involved 17 witnesses and over 40,000 pages of exhibits.
My most memorable experience was helping professor Dan Mensher out with his very first deposition. I have already used some of the tips I learned there to do my own very first deposition.
Michael Jollifee ’11
Attorney, The Freshwater Trust
I have been working at The Freshwater Trust since August of 2011. I deal specifically with flow restoration under the Instream Water Rights Act, working with landowners to lease water rights instream for fish and wildlife. Water law, hydrology, and ESA issues tend to come up a lot.
Tara Gallagher ’11
Campaign Associate, M + R Strategic Services
I work at M+R Strategic Services. We deliver highly tailored campaign strategy and services to leading nonprofits working on behalf of the public interest. We specialize in campaign planning and execution, online advocacy, online fundraising, government affairs, communications, field organizing, and activist training. Most recently, we worked with the Pew Environment Group to persuade the Pacific Fishery Management Council to implement protections for forage fish that are currently unregulated under the Magnuson-Steven Fisheries Conservation Act. We also partner with Trout Unlimited fighting the Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.
My most memorable experiences at Earthrise included: watching professor Allison LaPlante make our Antidegradation arguments in federal court, winning one of our summary judgement claims, our potluck lunches, camping at the Jake Place, and professor Tom Buchele’s pies!
Henry LeSueur ’11
Attorney, The DiCicco Law Firm
At Earthrise, Henry worked on complex Clean Air Act litigation, which lead to the planned shut-down of Oregon’s only coal-fired power plant. Through that experience, he learned the importance of presenting complex case facts to the court in a clear and concise manner.
Kieran O’Donnell ’11
O’Donnell Gesmundo PC, Attorneys at Law
In November 2011, Marcel Gesmundo and I started our own practice. So far we have handled a diverse selection of cases, including citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
My most memorable experience at Earthrise was working late into the night writing briefs with Professors Dan Mensher, Allison LaPlante, Dan Rohlf, and my student colleagues. A close second was sitting in on a settlement negotiation with Dan Mensher, CRK Staff Attorney Lauren Goldberg, and former Earthrise student Sara Gahfouri.
John Krallman ’11
Staff Attorney, Neighbors for Clean Air
Some of my most memorable experiences were the summer PEAC-nics (Earth-nics?) and professor Tom Buchele’s red-white-and-blue pie. Substantively, from my summer experience working on Sierra Club v. Portland General Electric, I still vividly remember privilege review in Nextpoint and analyzing data from Clean Air Markets in Excel.
Eleanor Garretson ’11
Garretson Law Office, LLC
Marla Nelson ’12
Staff Attorney, Northwest Environmental Defense Center
The best Earthrise experience that I will take with me is the personal connections with the clinic attorneys and fellow students. Whether it was the Friday lunch presentations, client sessions for my project, or random connections in the Earthrise workroom, Earthrise created a unique atmosphere that I was excited and grateful to be a part of.
Kathryn M. Walter ’12
Associate, Stewart, Sokol & Gray
I really enjoyed being able to present my work regarding legislative research to the Oregon Invasive Species Council. I also loved the trip to [client Otto Keller’s] place in central Oregon.