Vol. 39 No. 4
By Brian D. Kenyon
Brian D. Kenyon, a third-year law student at Florida State University College of Law, is the Law Student Division liaison to the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER).
The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) kicked off its 2010–11 calendar year on September 28 with its 18th Section Fall Meeting in New Orleans. In addition to offering 24 CLE sessions and presentations by top government lawyers, NGO representatives, policy leaders, academics, and seasoned practitioners from across the country, the conference was plentiful in networking opportunities for students.
During breaks between sessions, students mingled with top environmental practitioners from all backgrounds and from all across the country. Students enjoyed meals, receptions, and a dinner with potential employers and mentors. In addition, the Section held its Young Lawyer and Law Student Forum for the first time in a “Speed-Networking “format—a scenario similar to speed-dating. In systematic fashion, students were seated before Section leaders to discuss their backgrounds, career goals, and Section interests. The feedback was impressive. Students raved about the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with highly respected lawyers—lawyers who are usually difficult to contact due to their high-ranking positions with their employers—and leadership was delighted with student interest in Section involvement. The forum, and the conference overall, allowed students to make strong connections with lawyers willing to help them during their transition to practitioners.
The Section understands that law students are its future, and it places a high priority on student involvement. The cost of attendance can be a major facto preventing students from attending meetings. That’s why the Section assisted students with finding roommates to split hotel rates and informed them of alternative accommodations close to the conference site at lower prices. Law students interested in volunteering to assist with CLE sessions were eligible to apply for the Law Student Scholarship Program. Those granted a scholarship received a waiver of their registration fee, an assigned guide from Section leadership, and access to all meeting events, including a Bourbon Street parade and the dinner event at Mardi Gras World. The Section hopes that by making its events more affordable, student attendance will increase.
Are you disappointed that you were unable to attend the Fall Meeting? Don’t be; there are more opportunities to realize the benefits of Section membership. The Section will hold its 29th Annual Water Law Conference in San Diego, California, February 23–25, 2011, and its 40th Annual Conference on Environmental Law in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 17–19, 2011. Just like the Fall Meeting, these events will offer the Law Student Scholarship Program and will be rich in networking opportunities.
If you are interested in practicing environmental, energy, or resource law, you belong in this Section. Attend a conference, and give it a try. Please see the Section website, www.abanet.org/environ, for more information on these events.