October 24, 2016
This past summer, I worked as a law clerk in the Air Enforcement Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, DC. The EPA protects human health and the environment by implementing and enforcing federal laws. The Air Enforcement Division, located within the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, is charged with regulating air pollution under the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws.
As a law clerk, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. I interpreted and summarized Clean Air Act regulations, researched electronic reporting databases, drafted an approval memorandum for case resolution, and developed a defense for a Freedom of Information Act appeal. Additionally, I gathered and analyzed evidence for potential enforcement actions under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and attended a mock trial for an enforcement case against an electric utility.
My summer with the EPA was a fantastic experience. I was thrilled to gain hands-on experience in environmental law, a field I would like to pursue after graduation, and make meaningful contributions to enforcement cases. My projects and the weekly trainings I attended provided me with a better understanding of legal strategy and the complex federal laws regulating pollution. By observing government attorneys and seeking out feedback about my work from my supervisor, I improved my communication skills so that I can serve as a better legal advocate.
I would like to thank PILP and its supporters for enabling me to work at the EPA this summer! This was an invaluable opportunity that I may not have been able to take advantage of without the PILP stipend.