PAST LEGAL INTERNS
Legal Intern from May 2009 – April 2010
- Davidson College, Class of 2008
- LSU Law, Class of 2011
I am currently serving as an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Section of the Louisiana Department of Justice. In my job I focus mainly on Environmental Litigation. I also serve as the Attorney General’s representative to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (aka New Orleans Levee Boards).
What was your favorite project while working at Louisiana Sea Grant?
Two projects really stand out, because their effects when far beyond the academic world and had definite practical application. The first was researching the Elmer’s Island ownership structure, which turned into a presentation at the CNREP conference. The second would be an issue dealing with takings law and the potential to hold local governments liable for allowing developments that increase flooding. This second project started as a Memo to the Houma City Council and completely changed the trajectory of a local development project, adding more protection for a flood-prone area. The work was also adapted for publication in the National Sea Grant Law Journal.
How did your work at Louisiana Sea Grant prepare you for your current job?
At Louisiana Sea Grant, we were confronted with a wide spectrum of issues that at first glance did not mesh, but overtime we learned the interdisciplinary nature of the issues surrounding the Louisiana coast. We saw firsthand how no single interest group could address issues without taking into account other groups. This was a necessary lesson to learn and prepared me for my work with the State. While representing the State of Louisiana in environmental issues, I must constantly recognize and understand the many different interest groups and parties that are affected by decisions made at the State level. Working for the Law & Policy Program taught me that I must approach this job in a holistic manner that looks at our coast as a far-reaching, dynamic ecosystem with many lives and livelihoods at stake.
Any advice for students interested in environmental or coastal law issues?
If you are interested in environmental or coastal law, there is no better case study than Louisiana. Unlike many other environmental-oriented legal programs, in Louisiana we have the almost unavoidable opportunity to live as a part of one of the greatest environmental and coastal planning challenges to face this world. Get involved, get your hands dirty and learn as much as you can about the science, the law and the people involved in the fight to preserve our ecosystem.