Thursday, February 20, 3-5pm
Miss the Event? Watch the webcast.
This exciting discussion will center on the law of pillage in international humanitarian law and how it relates to the exploitation of natural resources in conflict-affected countries. Does the illegal exploitation of natural resources fuel an perpetuate conflicts? What are the relevant U.S. policies? Can international criminal law ans voluntary initiatives prevent and mitigate damages? Join four expert panelists from leading organizations for an exploration of teh law of pillage in international humanitarian law as it relates to the exploitation of natural resources in conflict-affected states. The hour-long panel (3-4pm) will be followed by a reception.
- Carl Bruch, Environmental Law Institute
- Ilona Coyle, Environmental Law Institute
- Holly Dranginis , The Enough Project
- Corinna Gilfillan , Global Witness
- Moderator: David Hunter, American University Washington College of Law
View the flyer!
Tuesday, February 4, 12-4pm
In 2010, the EPA embarked on an aggressive cleanup effort aimed at limiting the amount of nutrient pollution that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The farming industry challenged the EPA's authority under the Clean Water Act to require "pollution diets" in addition to procedural challenges. Panelists will comment on the litigation, the EPA's expanding role in managing watershed and pollution diets, and the implications of a positive ruling on the implementation of similar plans in the Mississippi Delta. Specifically, panelists will focus on the recent ruling in American Farm Bureau v. EPA and its implications for the future of pollution limits under the Clean Water Act.
12:10pm: Welcome from Elizabeth Lewis
12:15pm: Introductory Remarks from Professor Amanda Leiter
12:20pm: Keynote Address from Ridgeway Hall
12:50pm: Panelists Presentations and Discussion
3:00pm: Closing Remarks
3:10pm: Networking Coffee Hour
See photos on our Facebook page!
Tuesday, November 19, 12:00pm-1:30pm
WCL Room 402
Gaoxiang Pan is Asia Environmental Counsel for General Electric Corporate Environmental Programs. In this role, Mr. Pan advises GE’s business operations on regulatory initiatives and environmental compliance obligations in more than a dozen jurisdictions. Mr. Pan will give an overview of Chinese environmental law and policy and describe the challenges that face American industrial companies that produce products in China. He will also talk about the changes to his practice over the last several years, and about the opportunities available to young lawyers in the region.
Climate Power Play: Financial, Legislative, and Regulatory Moves Toward a New Energy Economy
Monday, November 18, 1:00pm-6:15pm (reception to follow)
McDermott, Will & Emery (500 N. Capitol Street NW)
Check out the Two Episodes of "The Hot Air Show: Carbon Policies, Politics & Markets" recorded at this event!
The American University Law Review’s Volume 63 Symposium brings together some of the top minds in the energy and climate change arena for a discussion on clean energy finance and policy, legislative efforts on climate, President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and the Supreme Court’s decision to review EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources. The keynote speakers will be Carol M. Browner, who recently served as Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and was the Administrator of the EPA during the Clinton Administration, and The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse,
United States Senator from Rhode Island. Other distinguished participants include Reed Hundt, former FCC Chairman and current CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital; Phyllis Cuttino, Director of the Clean Energy Program at Pew Charitable Trusts; Michael Gerrard, Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School; David Doniger, Chief Climate Change Attorney at NRDC; Jacob Hollinger, Partner at McDermott Will & Emery and former Acting Air Branch Chief for the EPA Region 2 Law Department; and Stephen Fotis, Partner at Van Ness Feldman.
See the Agenda!
The Arctic: Major Opportunities - Major Responsibilities
Thursday, November 14, 4:00-5:30pm (reception to follow)
WCL Sixth Floor Student Lounges
This is a Distinguished Speaker Series Event with His Excellency Borge Brende, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs. He will discuss current opportunities and challeges of activity in the Arctic. Event presented by the Program on International Organizations, Law & Diplomacy and the International Legal Studies Program.
Annual Fall Hike - Sugarloaf Mountain
Saturday, November 2, all day
Please join faculty and ELS members for a fall hike through Sugarloaf Mountain, a state park in Maryland. The Northern Peaks trail is a 5 mile hike. The park is located about an hour away from WCL. ELS will organize carpools leaving from WCL early on the day of the hike and returning to WCL mid-afternoon. To RSVP, please email Lizzie Lewis with your name, preferred email address, and contact phone number. Please also indicate whether you have access to a car, would be willing to drive to the trail, and how many passengers you can accommodate.
SDLP Annual Symposium - Putting People First: Regulating Big Industry to Promote Environmental Health
Wednesday, November 6, 9:00am-3:00pm
WCL Room 603
The Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication (SDLP) will host its annual symposium, "Putting People First: Regulating Big Industry to Promote Environmental Health, which will focus on environmental health regulations related to Big Energy (fracking), Big Food, and Big Chemicals. The symposium will feature three panels and a keynote speaker.
9:00-9:20am - Registration & Breakfast
9:20-9:30am - Welcome from Veronica Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief, Sustainable Development Law & Policy Publication
9:30-10:30am - Panel 1: Big Energy: Costs and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) (Moderator: Professor Amanda Leiter)
10:45-11:45am - Panel 2: Big Food: Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture (Moderator: Professor Erika Lennon)
12:00-1:30pm - Lunch & Keynote Address by Rodger Schlickeisen (wildlife conservation)
1:45-2:45pm - Panel 3: Big Chemicals: A Comparison of International and National Regulation (Moderator: Professor Bill Snape)
2:45-3:00pm - Closing Remarks
3:00-4:00pm - Reception (student lounges behind the cafeteria)
Tuesday, October 1 from 11:30am-1pm
Location: WCL, Sixth Floor Student Lounges
On Tuesday, October 1, the three co-directors of Ecopeace/Friends of the Earth-Middle East (FOEME) Gidon Bromberg (WCL ‘94), Nader al-Khateeb, and Munqeth Mehyar, will discuss their work along the Jordan River! Few bodies of water in the world are as revered, as fought over, or as polluted as the lower Jordan River, whose vital waters have such rich symbolic value and importance to the world's three major Abrahamic religions. Yet this river of historic conflict has become a symbol of peaceful cooperation, largely through the efforts of FOEME, a unique, award-winning, tri-national organization that unites people of the region around one very simple idea: the peaceful stewardship of the Earth.
This event is being co-sponsored by the American University Washington College of Law Program on International & Comparative Environmental Law, the Global Environmental Politics Program, the Kay Spiritual Life Center, Middle East Studies@AU, the Center for Israel Studies, and the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law!
Environmental Law Society First General Meeting
Thursday, September 5 from 12-1pm
Join the Environmental Law Society and the Environmental Law Program for a welcome meeting! Come learn about ELS' upcoming events and activities and how to get more involved in WCL's Environmental Law community. PIZZA WILL BE SERVED!
Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Earth Day is Car-Free Day at WCL
Monday, April 22
On April 22, the Environmental Law Society is celebrating Earth Day 2013 with our second Car-Free Day! We are urging students and faculty to take a step towards reducing their carbon footprints by changing their transportation routine. For just one day, try an alternative means of transportation: if you drive a car to school, take public transportation; if you take the bus or metro, try to ride your bike instead. Look for ELS tabling in the lobby on April 22! We will have a treat for students and faculty who bring a picture/video which shows their car-free commute to WCL, or other proof.
Global Perspectives on Environmental Justice
Wednesday, March 27 from 9am-4pm
The Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication's Annual Symposium will explore the ways in which environmental risks and benefits are distributed across social, cultural, economic, and racial/ethnic boundaries. Speakers will address both domestic and international environmental issues. Here is a tentative schedule for the day:
9-10am: Breakfast, Introductory Remarks, and History of the Environmental Justice Movement
Moderators: Bethany Peak & Mark Borak (Editors-in-Chief, Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication); Discussion of the History of Environmental Justice by Mike Ewall.
10-11:45am: Food and Environmental Justice: This panel will explore access to good food and food deserts, as well as efforts at sustainable and urban farming. We'd also like to have a look at the impact of current subsidies in the context of current understandings of healthy food and sustainable growing. Panelists include: Professor Bill Eubanks (Moderator; Partner, Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal), Helen Dombalis (Policy and Strategic Partnerships Director, National Farm to School Network), Elise Golan (Sustainable Development Program Director, Office of the Chief Economist, US Department of Agriculture), and Sophie Milam (Nutrition Assistance and Budget Policy Program Director, Feeding America)
12-12:45pm: Lunch and Keynote Address on Climate Change and Environmental Justice
Introductory Remarks by Professor Bill Snape (Senior Counsel, Center for Biological Diversity) and the keynote will feature Professor Alice Kaswan (Associate Professor, University of San Francisco): "Seven Principles for Equitable Climate Adaptation"
1-2pm: SDLP Environmental Justice Issue Authors' Panel
Panelists include: Bethany Peak and Mark Borak (Moderators; Editors-in-Chief, Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication, American University Washington College of Law), Mike Ewall (Founder and Director, Energy Justice Network), Elana Katz-Mink (JD Student, American University Washington College of Law), Hdeel Abdelhady (Professorial Lecturer in Law, GWU Law), Tendai Zvbogo (ILSP LL.M, class of 2013, American University Washington College of Law
2:15-3:45pm: Land Rights and Environmental Justice: This panel will explore environmental justice issues surrounding indigenous populations and land. The panel will look at both the problem of corporations infringing on indigenous lands and resources, and at conservation efforts that displace indigenous people. Panelists will discuss domestic and international land rights issues, providing a broad look at the various types of disputes between governments, corporations, indigenous peoples, and lingering effects of colonialism. Panelists include: Professor Ezra Rosser (Moderator; Professor, American University Washington College of Law), Marissa Vahlsing (Staff Attorney, Earthrights International), Derrick Beetso (Staff Attorney, National Congress of American Indians), Gretchen Gordon (Staff Attorney, Indian Law Resource Center), Karla General (Staff Attorney, Indian Law Resource Center), James Grijalva (Swenson Professor of Law, University of North Dakota School of Law), Danny Gogal (Tribal Program Manager, Office of Environmental Justice, US Environmental Protection Agency)
3:45-4:00pm: Closing Remarks by Professor Ezra Rosser
This event is co-sponsored by the Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication and the Program on International & Comparative Environmental Law. Register for the Event!
Bowman v. Monsanto: Post Argument Discussion
Tuesday, February 19 at 4:15-5:50pm
On February 19, 2013, the Supreme Court will hear the Bowman v. Monsanto argument, addressing patent exhaustion regarding seeds sold for planting and other self-replicating technologies. The afternoon after the argument, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) and the Federal Circuit Bar Association are hosting a panel discussion with counsel for parties and selected amici. Panelists include:
- Paul Wolfson - Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, Counsel for Respondent – Monsanto Co.
- Mark Walters – Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP, Counsel for the Petitioner – Bowman
- Seth Greenstein – Constantine Cannon LLP, Counsel for Amici Curiae Automotive Aftermarket Industry Ass’n, Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Ass’n. & International Imaging Technology Council Supporting Petitioner
- Scott McBride – McAndrews Held & Malloy LTD, Counsel for Amici Curiae Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation et al. Supporting Respondent
- Prof. Amanda Cohen Leiter – American University Washington College of Law
- Prof. Jorge Contreras – American University Washington College of Law, Moderator
Visit PIJIP’s website for more information and to view the webcast.
Environmental Law Career Panel
February 26 from 12-1:30pm
Considering a career in Environmental Law? The Environmental Law Society and the Office of Career and Professional Development are hosting a panel on careers in Environmental Law. Panelists will include Environmental lawyers from both the public and private sector. They will speak about their career paths and different opportunities in the Environmental Law field. Pizza will be provided to those who register on CareerLink.
Melissa Blue Sky, '11, Staff Attorney, Center for International Law
Addie Haughey, '10, Government Relations Manager, Ocean Conservancy
Asha Venkataraman, '09, Associate, VanNess Feldman, LLP
Mike Walker, Law Clerk Program Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Winfield Wilson, Trial Attorney, Mine Health & Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
Register on CareerLink.
he State of the Environment in Our Nation's Capital
Thursday, February 14 from 12-3pm
This luncheon program focuses on sustainability issues currently facing Washington, D.C., and sustainability initiatives aimed at "greening" the city, including the recently passed Sustainable DC Act of 2012.
Featuring a Keynote Address by:
DC Councilwoman Mary Cheh, Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Transportation, and Public Works
Brendan Shane, Chief of Staff, Office of Policy and Sustainability, DC Department of the Environment
Gary Belan, Director of Clean Water Programs, American Rivers
Chris O'Brien, Director, American University Office of Sustainability
Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environment Network
Register for the event!
This event is being co-sponsored by the Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law and is part of the WCL Founder's Day Events Program.
WCL is again hosting a regional round of the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition. Come out and volunteer to help with the competition. Great networking opportunity for students who will get to interact with local environmental lawyers and witness the moot court competition first hand. Please come out and help with the competition. To learn how to get involved, please email Erika Lennon.See our Recent News section for a recap and Photos.
Environmental Law Society General Meeting
Wednesday, January 23 at 12-1pm
Join ELS in kicking off an exciting spring semester! We will be discussing upcoming events, including two environmental law topical panels, a career panel, faculty and alumni mixer, camping/hiking trip, as well as volunteer and Earth Day events. The meeting will begin promptly at noon on January 23 in Room 503. We will be providing yummy vegetarian food, first come, first served.
Hike in Shenandoah National Park
October 6, All Day
Save the Date! Join ELS, Professor Hunter, Professor Leiter, and other members of the environmental and WCL community and environmental law professors for a hike! The hike will be Big Devils Stairs in Shenandoah National Park, which is approximately 6 miles along a river and then back along a fire road in the park. More details about transportation and other logistics coming soon!
See the Flyer!
Corporate Liability for Human Rights Violations Outside the U.S.: A Day-After Assessment of the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Reargument
October 2 from 12-1:30 p.m.
On October 1, the Supreme Court will hold a rare rehearing of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. The Kiobel case now seems to portend the future of the Alien Tort Statute, which has been used to hold human rights violators accountable in US courts for wrongs committed around the world. Please join us for a day-after assessment of the Supreme Court argument at the intersection of human rights, environmental justice, and extraterritoriality, with a diversity of speakers:
Paul Hoffman, Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs
Katharine Redford, Co-Founder and U.S. Office Director, EarthRights International
John B. Bellinger III, Partner at Arnold & Porter, and Former Legal Advisor to the U.S. Department of State
Andrew Grossman, Litigator at BakerHostetler and Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation
Moderator: Professor Stephen Vladeck, WCL Constitutional Law Scholar
A live webcast will be available at www.wclCenterforHR.org!
SCOTUS Camp Out for Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.
Sunday, September 30 to Monday, October 1
The Environmental Law Society is camping out in line on Sunday, September 30 at the U.S. Supreme Court to get in to hear the oral argument in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. This case may determine the future of the Alien Tort Statute, which has been used to hold human rights violators accountable in U.S. courts for wrongs committed around the world. The oral argument will begin at 10 am on October 1. If you are interested in attending, contact Chelsea Tu. Don't forget your sleeping bag and snacks.
Transportation Awareness Month and Car-Free Day
Thursday, September 20
Update! - Read about the success of car-free day, which saw 141 people participate, here!
On September 20th, the Environmental Law Society is joining forces with the AU Office of Sustainability's Green Office (GO!) Program to bring Car-Free Day to WCL! We are urging students and faculty to take a step towards reducing their carbon footprints by changing their transportation routine. For just one day, try an alternative means of transportation: if you drive a car to school, take public transportation; if you take the bus or the metro, try to ride your bike instead. Look for ELS tabling in the lobby on September 20th! We will have a treat for students and faculty who bring a picture/video that shows their car-free commute to WCL. make an effort to go car-free.
Also, check out DC's Car-Free Day, occurring on Saturday, September 22, at http://www.carfreemetrodc.com/ for tips and suggestions about how to go car-free. Last year American University beat out other DC area universities for most car-free pledges. Register your pledge for the DC Car-Free Day online!
International Aviation Law Conference: The Future of International Aviation: Conflict or Cooperation?
Monday, September 17 from 12:00-5:00 p.m. (reception to follow)
The ILSP LL.M Board is hosting an exciting conference on International Aviation Law. In recent months, international aviation has found itself at the center of conflict. The extension of the EU emissions trading system to foreign airlines sparked an international dispute. In the U.S., the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank witnessed a split between the aviation and manufacturing industries—but ultimately led to bipartisan cooperation. These issues affect the international aviation industry and intersect with other important interests outside the field. Using the EU ETS and the Ex-Im Bank cases as points of departure, this conference will examine whether the future of international aviation leads to conflict or cooperation.
The program will start with a career panel for WCL students from 12-1:30pm. Then at 1:30pm, there will be opening remarks. The first panel will focus on the EU Emissions Trading System. Then it will be followed by a panel on Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees.
The Hot Air Show Podcast: Episode 10
Friday, September 14 at 9:30 a.m. (approx. 1 hour)
Come see panelists Kevin Book, Toby Short, Tyson Slocum, and Bill Snape, with Chris Berendt as host, discuss the state of U.S. energy and greenhouse gas politics as we head into the 2012 election. The podcast taping will be approximately 1 hour long. If you have questions about Hot Air, Episode 10, or attending the taping, please email Erika Lennon. For more information visit the Hot Air website, where you can scroll down to Episode 10 for panelist bios and you can download previous episodes, or the Environmental Law Program Events website.
Note: Because this will be recording, no one will be admitted after 9:30 a.m.
First Practical Environmental Law Team (PELT) Meeting
Friday, September 14 from 1:15-2p.m.
Room 212 (Pence Law Library room)
Become exposed to unique and exciting opportunities in applied environmental law and come to the first PELT meeting of the year! A completely voluntary program, PELT members will spend a few hours a week attending Congressional hearings and meetings, as well as strategy sessions with environmental law professors (2-3 times per month). PELT members will gain practical environmental law experience with potential to lead in many positive directions. For more information, contact Maggie Coulter or Professor Snape.
Thursday, September 6 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. - First Environmental Law Society General Meeting
The first Environmental Law Society General Meeting is coming up. Come join the Environmental Law Society as well as environmental law faculty and staff to learn more about this year's activities including conferences, hikes, roundtable discussions, and more. It will also give you an opportunity to meet us and join our list serve if you haven't already.
Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm - Annual ELS/SDLP/Environmental Law Program BBQ
Congratulations on finishing another year at WCL! Now it is time for the annual ELS/SDLP/Environmental Law Program Barbeque. The BBQ will be held in Professor Hunter’s backyard at 7509 Hancock Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland on Thursday, April 26 from 6-9 pm. Directions will be sent out closer to the date. Partners and kids are welcome. Please RSVP to Erika Lennon, email@example.com so that we can get an estimate of how many people are coming.
The Road to Rio +20
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
1:30-5:30 pm (with reception to follow)
A half-day conference on the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) focusing on the issues that will be discussed in June relating to the green economy leading to poverty alleviation, the institutional framework for sustainable development, and other issues related to international environmental governance. The conference will look at progress made since the Earth Summit in June 1992, the upcoming conference, and the future on international environmental law.
Watch the Webcast!
On the Brink: Environmental Conflicts Along the Path Towards Sustainable Development
Monday, March 19, 2012 from 9:00am to 5:00pm
This event will focus on natural resource disasters and conflicts, including panels discussing national and international issues. Potential topics include: oil spills, nuclear power and radiation, resource management, and energy development. There will also be a keynote speaker addressing a topic related to natural resource disasters and conflicts. Presented by the Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication.
Please register for this event: https://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/cle_form.cfm.
Monday, February 13, 2012 from 12-1 pm
Unable to attend the Career Panel. Watch the webcast!
Join WCL's Environmental Law Society and the Office of Career and Professional Development for a discussion of careers in the environmental law field. This event will give law students the opportunity to learn from attorneys who practice environmental or related law in the government, non-profit, and private sectors. Attorneys will share with students how they have developed their career in environmental law, as well as what students should know and do to get internships and jobs in the environmental law field. A Q&A session will follow attorneys' presentations. This event will also provide a chance for attorneys and students to discuss future employment possibilities with hiring organizations.
Panelists will include:
Moderator: Professor Amanda Leiter
Stacy Coleman, Associate Attorney, Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Enforcement Section
Carroll Muffett, President and CEO, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Daniel Squire, Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP
Stacey VanBelleghem, Associate, Latham & Watkins LLP
Mike Walker, Director, National Enforcement Training Institute, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
ELS-BLSA Joint Hill & Government Days for Environmental Justice
Wednesday-Thursday, February 8-9, 2012
WCL's Environmental Law Society is joining with WCL's Black Law Student Association, and its national affilitate, NBLSA, to work to raise awareness of issues surrounding environmental justice on Capitol Hill. You can register online at www.nblsa.org/hillandgovdaysregistration/. Please include that you are from WCL in the comments section, and select MABLSA (Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association) in the "Affiliation" tab. There will be training workshops on February 8, and materials will be provided on the day when we will meet in groups with Congress members and their staff.
October 15, 2011
10 am - 1 pm
ELS Hiking Trip
Come de-stress and enjoy the fall weather with ELS at our annual hiking trip next Saturday, 10/15 from 10am-1pm. We will be going to Rock Creek Park, which is a 15-km long wilderness area conveniently located right in the heart of DC (more information here: http://www.nps.gov/rocr/index.htm). Professor Amanda Leiter will also be joining us for the hike.
Since the park is not metro/bus accessible, we will be meeting at the front of the law school on Saturday at 10 am sharp to carpool to the park. Please RSVP with Chelsea Tu (firstname.lastname@example.org) by next Wednesday, October 12.We also need drivers, so if you are willing to take people please mention how many can fit in your car in the RSVP email.
Breakfast items will be provided before we head off!
Sunday, November 6, 2011 - Tar Sands Action Protest
One year from the next election, the Tar Sands Action will return to DC to try to encircle the White House to ask President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Please go to this website to learn more about the protest and sign up to participate: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/