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Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

MSL alumna Ellen Gilmer puts her degree to work as environmental policy journalist in D.C.

August 15, 2014

When Lewis & Clark announced its new Master of Studies in Environmental and Natural Resources Law degree program last year, Ellen Gilmer knew immediately it was the perfect fit for her. As an environmental policy journalist with Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E Reporting) in Washington, D.C., she already knew she loved journalism and that she did not need a JD As she put it in her application letter, “I’ve talked with CEOs of fledgling clean energy companies. I’ve climbed trees with anti-fracking activists. I’ve traded jokes with oil and gas veterans. I’ve listened to the heartache of struggling ranchers. That’s the joy and privilege of reporting. But now I need to take it to the next level, and Lewis & Clark can help me get there.” Her goal was to help strengthen the “dwindling but critical pool of well-versed, thorough reporters covering these issues.”

Ellen graduated with her MSL degree last May and returned to E&E, but this time on the energy law beat. She recently reflected on the benefits of her course work at Lewis & Clark: “As a reporter, I have spent countless hours wading through court documents and trying to make sense of legal tangles in the energy and environmental policy world. Lewis & Clark Law School’s Master’s program gave me indispensable knowledge that will help me understand and analyze these issues for future reporting.” 

Along with tracking cases and daily news, Ellen is working on a series on the changing landscape of oil and gas law. Her discussion of nuisance law, public trust, and takings issues will warm the heart of her Lewis & Clark professors. Here are links to the first three in the series:

For more information on the Master of Studies degree for nonlawyers, please visit us on the web or contact Lucy Brehm at