Ayman Irfan

I chose Lewis & Clark for its top program in environmental law and its highly distinguished professors. I was also definitely drawn to the fact that the campus was located in a forest!

Ayman Irfan LLM '23

Degree and Class Year

LLM ’23


Karachi, Pakistan

Undergraduate/Graduate School(s)

Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

Areas of legal interest(s)

Water Law, Ocean/Coastal Law

Brief Background:

Before Lewis & Clark Law School I was studying at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore, Pakistan. I received my undergraduate and law degree there, as well as a minor in psychology. During that time I did a lot of swimming, football, trekking, theatre, and singing. I love going on adventures and being spontaneous!

What made you decide to go to law school?

At a very young age I knew I loved water. Swimming and rowing are my two most favorite sports, and I have always been fascinated by whales. Coming from Pakistan, I never was able to see them in real life—only through movies and books—but by slowly learning more about them I knew I wanted to work on their conservation in the future. I also found myself interested in other aspects of water, like the law of the sea for example. And that is when I decided to pursue environmental law specifically. After five years of undergraduate and law school, I have now finally reached the destination at which I always hoped to see myself. But I do think this is only the first step to making a difference. Onwards and upwards from here on!

Why did you choose to attend Lewis & Clark?

I chose Lewis & Clark for its top program in environmental law and its highly distinguished professors. I was also definitely drawn to the fact that the campus was located in a forest! I just could not resist the views!

List up to three activities (school-related or not) that you are involved in. Pick the ones that are most important to you and tell us why.

  1. Representative of the LLM student body as a part of the Student Bar Association
  2. Member of the Student Advocates for Business and Environmental Responsibility (SABER)
  3. Board Member at the Environmental Law Caucus

    Being a part of the Environmental Law Caucus is probably my favorite aspect of Lewis & Clark. This is because it means I get to be around people who share similar interests, not only through an academic lens but also through the interests that we share. From going ivy pulling to going camping, I have already had some memorable experiences with the caucus.

Tell us about a meaningful Lewis & Clark academic experience that happened outside of the classroom.

I attended West Wind 2022, an environmental law retreat to the Oregon coast that spanned three days and two nights. West Wind is organized by the Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC), and the last time it was held was before COVID. This made is all the more exciting because even 3L JD students hadn’t been to the retreat! We were able to sit in on presentations held by alumni who spoke about their projects in environmental law, bond with the Lewis & Clark law community, engage in fun activities like kayaking and archery, network, and sit by a bonfire right next to the coast. It’s not every day that you get to see starfish in tide pools!

Do you have any advice for students making their final law school choices?

Trust your gut and convince yourself to step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. Talk to people doing various types of law. Never, ever base your decision after talking to just one person. And remember, nobody has the right to tell you what you are capable of or can achieve.

What was the hardest thing about adjusting to law school?

Since this is my second time in law school, I would have to say the generic law school culture. You always come across super intense people who will be competitive and intense. I learned the hard way that I should keep my eyes on my own path, look at how far I have come, and always take it one day at a time. Law school is an environment where people come from a lot of different experiences and opinions. It is how you choose to see this experience and act accordingly in the given environment that defines what you get out of it. At Lewis & Clark specifically, the hardest thing has been being so far away from home—even though I don’t regret it one bit!

Other stories, comments, or experiences you would like to share?

During my first week here in Oregon, I saw a bunch of California grey whales at Depoe Bay on my birthday—probably the best birthday present ever! Finally getting to see whales in real life was awesome and I hope I get to see more soon!

Environmental Law Master of Law (LLM)