The PILP stipend made it possible for me to intern with Trustees for Alaska this summer. Trustees is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm providing free legal counsel to local and national conservation groups, Native villages, community and citizen groups, statewide coalitions, hunting and fishing groups, and individual Alaskans. Trustees takes on critical environmental and natural resources issues effecting Alaska. In particular the firm focuses on issues related to mining development and exploration, clean water, endangered species, and global warming, arctic and ocean ecosystems, and public lands. Most of the clients Trustees represents could not afford to bring legal claims without the firms’ free litigation services, and would thereby be prohibited from effectively participating in the judicial process.
At Trustees, I was fortunate to get broad exposure to natural resource and environmental issues unique to Alaska. I had the opportunity to draft litigation documents and attend the resulting hearings regarding the application of herbicides to public lands. Under the guidance of Trustees skilled and knowledgeable Trustees attorneys I also conducted research, prepared motions and appeals, discussed litigation strategies, and observed depositions in preparation for a trial. Additionally, I had the unique opportunity to participate in a mock trial in preparation for oral arguments in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and watch the resulting arguments delivered by a Trustees attorney. Overall, I was able to observe the many aspects of being a successful and proficient public interest attorney.
I was extremely fortunate to have spent my summer interning at Trustees for Alaska. The experience opened my eyes to an exciting career as an environmental attorney and inspired me to strive to return to Alaska as a practicing attorney. I am grateful to PILP for enabling me to accept an internship with Trustees for Alaska; without PILP my experience would not have been possible.