Coronavirus Information and Update: Spring 2021 Plans

June 01, 2011

Liv Brumfield

Columbia Riverkeeper, Hood River, OR

Columbia Riverkeeper, Hood River, OR 

My PILP stipend allowed me to spend my first summer in law school working for Columbia Riverkeeper, a small but incredibly active and effective environmental nonprofit.  Columbia Riverkeeper does fantastic work on behalf of the Columbia River and the communities – both human and non-human – that depend on it.  PILP helped me help Riverkeeper help the Columbia. 


And that’s exactly what I came to law school to learn how to do.


I came to Lewis & Clark because I wanted to improve my ability to be effective, and helpful -  but I wanted to keep my grasp on reality and issues I feel passionate about.  My summer experience at Riverkeeper went straight to this mission.  I got thoughtful, concrete, and constructive feedback from Riverkeeper’s Staff Attorney – which helped me improve both my writing and research skills.  I worked on a variety of issues, both legal and policy-related – from the Clean Water Act and the Washington Model Toxics Control Act to coal export politics and salmon lifecycles.  I learned new things all day every day.  I sat in on meetings with coalition partners and government agencies.  I was able to observe experienced, effective, smart and passionate attorneys in action.  And I got to eat lunch with them.  And go kayaking on the Columbia with them. 


One of the best parts of my experience at Columbia Riverkeeper was the feeling that I was part of a movement much bigger than myself – a tidal wave of people working for the health of a river ecosystem that is the lifeblood of the Pacific Northwest.  The entire organization is fueled by an enormous, infectious passion for the Columbia that invigorated me – both as a law student and as a human being.  To get to be a part of it – and to contribute to it – was an honor and a pleasure.  PILP helped me help Columbia Riverkeeper – and it helped strengthen me as I move forward trying to make a difference in the world.