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Public Interest Law Project

Danielle Elefritz

September 30, 2017

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    Danielle Elefritz

U.S. DOJ ENRD

Thanks to the Public Interest Law Project (PILP) at Lewis & Clark Law School, this summer I was able to intern for the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) in Washington, DC. Within ENRD, I worked in the Environmental Enforcement Section on the power plants team.

With the power plants team, I had the opportunity to contribute significantly to the team’s prosecution of coal-fired power plants for Clean Air Act violations. I contributed by helping to draft motions, conducting legal research and drafting legal memoranda on procedural and substantive discovery issues and Clean Air Act issues, performing document review, and participating in strategy sessions, settlement negotiations, section meetings, and division trainings. In addition to learning about prosecution under the Clean Air Act, I was fortunate to work with the team while they litigated a claim in court—a rarity in governmental environmental prosecution, as defendants often settle instead. Additionally, I was able to make a number of connections both in ENRD and in DC generally and to attend a number of networking events.

This summer was a dream. I matriculated at Lewis & Clark Law School hoping to best position myself to be able to work with ENRD. This summer I moved myself one step closer to that goal and, on top of that, had the opportunity to practice Clean Air Act and energy law, the areas of environmental law that most interest me. I could not have done so without the financial help afforded me by receipt of a PILP award. I am forever thankful to PILP and Lewis & Clark Law School for helping me achieve my dreams. 

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