June 01, 2008

Suzanne Bostrom

Trustees for Alaska, Anchorage, AK

My PILP stipend provided me with the opportunity to work for Trustees for Alaska. Trustees is a nonprofit, public interest environmental law firm in Anchorage, Alaska. Trustees’ clients include local, regional and national environmental organizations, Alaska Native organizations, and commercial and sport fishing organizations. Trustees focuses almost exclusively on Alaskan natural resource issues such as fisheries management, oil and gas development, clean air and water, forestry, transportation, and coastal development. The firm also provides legal services at low or no cost to its client groups, many of whom would otherwise be inadequately represented in administrative and judicial processes.

I had an amazing experience with Trustees. Over the course of the summer, I was able to work on a variety of environmental law issues, which touched on everything from Clean Water Act litigation to land management plans. Out of all of the projects I was given, not once was I handed an assignment that I wasn’t thrilled to be working on or where I didn’t learn about a new area of substantive law. Although the work was often challenging, the attorneys at Trustees always took the time to work through difficult problems with me and provided constructive feedback on how I could improve my research, writing and analytical skills.

I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work under the guidance of such an outstanding team of attorneys on environmental issues that I care deeply about. Being involved with Trustees gave me a first-hand opportunity to understand how a nonprofit environmental law firm works and to work on meaningful environmental law projects. The experience also allowed me to gain experience in the state in which I hope to practice law. Without assistance from PILP, this experience never would have been possible. PILP made my dream of working with Trustees and returning to Alaska a reality.