Wyss Scholars Program 2021-2022
Lewis & Clark Law School was selected in 2017 to be part of the Wyss Scholars Program. Funded by the Wyss Foundation, a private, charitable foundation dedicated to land conservation, the Wyss Scholars Program seeks to identify and support a new generation of leaders focused on land conservation issues. The selected Lewis & Clark Scholars will receive a $5,000 stipend for qualifying work in their 2L summer, a contribution towards tuition during 3L year, and two post- graduate payments if they are working in a qualifying position. Lewis & Clark is one of only a few law schools in the country selected for this program.
Applications are available to second year law students currently enrolled at and planning to graduate from Lewis & Clark Law School and who are committed to careers as conservationists of land with a nonprofit conservation group or federal, state or tribal land management agency working on issues advancing the preservation of the environment and natural resources. The work can be focused on any region in the US and is no longer restricted to work that focuses on the West (as of 2022). Two Wyss Scholars will be selected from Lewis & Clark Law School each year on the basis of their leadership potential and academic strength and their commitment to furthering land and natural resources conservation.
Applicants must be matriculated JD degree candidates in their second year at Lewis & Clark Law School with United States citizenship or permanent residency status. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in a summer job following their 2L year and a post-graduate position with a federal or state land management agency or a nonprofit conservation organization. Top grades are a requirement. Eligible candidates must not have any grade lower than a B-. Financial need will also be considered.
The selection committee will also consider relevant current and planned coursework and past and planned experiences in land conservation with a focus on preservation of the environment and natural resources.
Qualifying employers include:
- A nonprofit entity whose mission is to further land conservation;
- United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, or other Federal Agency in a position focused on land conservation;
- The state wildlife, parks, natural resource, land or water departments, or an equivalent tribal entity;
- Other employers that make a substantial contribution to land conservation to be reviewed on a case by case basis and approved at the sole discretion of the Wyss.
The post-graduation awards will be divided evenly in to two payments to be made after each Scholar has completed 12 and 24 months of qualifying employment. The post-graduate awards are made directly to the Scholars, not to the placement. All qualifying employment must be completed, and award applications submitted, within 36 months of the Scholar’s graduation. An exception will be made for law students who complete a one-year judicial clerkship after graduation. In this case, the student will be granted an additional 12 months (48 months total beginning the day after graduation), to complete qualifying employment and submit award applications. The one-year judicial clerkship does not apply as qualifying employment.
The summer job must consist of work of at least 30 hours per week for a minimum of 10 weeks. Only full-time employment, of 35 hours or more per week, will qualify for the post-graduate award, including employment with multiple qualifying employers that totals 35 hours a week on average.
Students are encouraged to take courses concerning public lands, and natural resources management and public policy, management of non- profits, natural resource law, and negotiation.
2021-2022 Application Process and Deadlines:
By December 10; Submit e-mail indicating intent to apply to Janice Weis, Associate Dean & Director, Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law Program at email@example.com.
*By Noon January 14; Submit application materials via a single PDF document to Wyss Scholar Selection Committee c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.
By January 21; Interviewees notified.
Wednesday, January 26 9a-12p & Friday, January 28 2p-5p; We are planning to do the interviews by Zoom, but if things change, we may do them in person.
The successful candidates will be notified as shortly after the interviews as possible. The selection committee will include staff and faculty of Lewis & Clark’s environmental law program.
*Early applications are welcome and encouraged.
Combine all items into one document (other than online application form), save as a PDF, and email to the Wyss Scholar Selection Committee c/o Alexis Burchett at email@example.com. Follow instructions below regarding the letter of recommendation. All items must be received by the application deadline. If you are unable to combine all items, need to submit in another format, or otherwise need assistance, please contact Alexis Burchett, Program Coordinator, Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Application should include the following information:
- Completed application form (*include the name of a LC law faculty member who can speak most knowledgably about you as a future Wyss Scholar). Application form can be completed online at https://law.lclark.edu/live/forms/1421-wyss-scholars-program-application. A member of the selection committee will reach out to the faculty member directly.
- Note that students need to select someone other than a member of the selection committee for the letter of reference. (Students may list a member of the selection committee as the faculty member who can be consulted about your qualifications.)
- The Wyss selection committee is: Professors Blumm and Buchele, along with Associate Dean Weis.
- Need Analysis (form attached or via online form listed above)
- No more than a 500 word essay detailing your past, present, and future personal and professional commitment to the field of conservation in the U.S., your potential for future leadership in the area, and how becoming a Wyss Scholar will enhance your career development in the conservation law
- Unofficial transcript from Lewis & Clark Law School
- List of courses you are registered to take spring semester 2022 and courses planned for your 3L year
- Description of potential qualifying summer 2022 jobs or internship prospects.
- A letter of recommendation discussing your potential as a future conservation leader emailed directly from the recommender to email@example.com (this should be different than the faculty member you identify *above and can be from a professional or other experience or can be from another faculty member)
Wyss Scholar Award includes:
- Over $30,000 in tuition assistance for 3L year;
- Stipend ($5,000) for a summer position after 2L year with a nonprofit or public-sector conservation organization;
- Membership in the Wyss Scholars network;
- While in school, ability to apply for up to $3,000 from the Wyss Scholars’ Small Grants Program to propose professional development events (e.g., on campus speakers or training opportunities for Scholars and other students)
- Post-Graduation Payment #1: approximately $18,000 available after 12 months in qualified position; Payment #2: approximately $18,000 available after 24 months in qualified position) plus 20% tax burden relief (paid to the Scholar, not the placement)
For further information, please contact: Janice Weis, Associate Dean & Director,
Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law Program (503) 768-6649
Alexis Burchett, Program Coordinator,
Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law Program (503) 768-6784