June 12, 2023

Law Student Plans Panel for ABA Conference

Law student Glenda Valdez ’23 recently organized a panel for the 52nd spring conference of the ABA Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER).

Law student Glenda Valdez ’23 recently envisioned, planned and managed a panel for one of the most well-attended yearly environmental law conventions in the nation: the ABA Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) spring conference.

Hosted this year in Denver, CO, from April 26-28, the ABA’s SEER Spring Conference presented on topics from clean energy and tribal climate adaptation to the interface between bankruptcy and environmental law. The annual conference explores the avenues legal professionals can take to mitigate the impacts of a warming world through law, policy, and ethics lenses.

Glenda Valdez joined the ABA SEER planning committee and volunteered to plan the panel entitled “Multiple Use, Migratory Routes, and Mitigating Climate Change: The Future of Managing Public Lands.” She invited and organized panelists Mary Greene, Senior Counsel to the American Clean Power Association; Lewis & Clark’s Professor Dan Rohlf; and Dale Ratliff, Director of Williams Weese Pepple & Ferguson. They discussed avenues for regulation of public lands and examined the burdens of balancing numerous competing interests like resource extraction, agricultural grazing, critical habitat designation, and recreation on public lands.

In planning the conference, Valdez collaborated with another SEER committee member and Professor Dan Rohlf to outline panel discussion goals and prepare for the big day. “I was the only law student to serve on the planning committee,” said Valdez. “Hopefully I set a positive precedent for law students to serve on future conference planning committees.”

During her time at Lewis & Clark, Valdez was also involved with many other activities on campus, including Animal Law Review, the Latinx Law Society, and Northwest Environmental Defense Center. In 2022, she was also selected as one of two Wyss Scholars, a program that honors students based upon their academic strength, leadership, and commitment to land conservation issues. This fall, Valdez will continue her environmental law career in Washington, DC. She will work for the energy projects section of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of General Counsel where she is eager to better understand the inner workings of federal law and policy and gain expertise in key conservation statutes such as NEPA and the ESA.

To students seeking to get involved with public lands or environmental law initiatives while at Lewis & Clark, Valdez advises, “Join a committee with ABA SEER and start to attend meetings and look for volunteer opportunities. Showing up and doing quality work will help build trust, which is the foundation of future opportunities.”

To learn more about the Spring 2023 ABA SEER Conference, including viewing a conference brochure and list of attendees and panelists, please visit the event’s website here.