By Aastha Madaan
Aastha Madaan, a 3L from , is the 2011–12 Law Student Division liaison to SEER.
The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) continues to make law students one of its top priorities. SEER’s Law Student Task Force focuses on creating networking opportunities, providing more information on jobs and internships, building links with student organizations such as environmental journals and environmental law societies, and offering scholarships to attend SEER events throughout the year.
Conference Scholarship Opportunities. SEER offers a limited number of tuition scholarships to law students interested in attending SEER’s Fall Meeting, Annual Conference on Environmental Law, and Water Law Conferences. Scholarship recipients assist with CLE sessions in exchange for a waiver of their registration fee. For the duration of the meeting, students are assigned a SEER guide, who is a seasoned attorney and current member of SEER. The SEER guide introduces students to other practicing attorneys, and essentially serves the role of a mentor. It is the Section’s hope that law students and their SEER guides develop long-term mentoring relationships with each other.
Law students interested in applying for tuition scholarships must be members of SEER.
Networking Opportunities. SEER leaders understand that it is important for law students to interact with and have the guidance of practicing attorneys. SEER events have several networking breaks where law students can network with attorneys. Recently, SEER also organized “speed networking” at several meetings. Speed networking is similar to speed dating, where each student is given the opportunity to meet one-on-one with several environment, energy, and resources law practitioners over the course of an hour. Students discuss their backgrounds, career goals, and SEER opportunities with Section leaders. Students are appreciative of this rare and low-stress opportunity to interact with respected attorneys.
Learning Opportunities. In addition to CLE sessions at SEER’s meetings, Quick Teleconferences are usually conducted by leaders in the field and are another learning opportunity available to law students. Law students that are members of SEER receive periodic e-mails with information about upcoming conference calls on contemporary or breakthrough topics in environmental law. Law students can register to attend Quick Teleconferences free of charge.
SEER also offers resources like podcasts through the SEER webpage, and the Section leaders are working on getting more similar resources for law students. For additional law student resources, please visit the Section’s law student resource website.
Internship Opportunities—the Diversity Fellowship in Environmental Law. SEER leaders value and encourage diversity in environmental, energy, and resources law, and work hard to create opportunities for law students. The ABA Diversity Fellowship in Environmental Law is designed to encourage law students from disadvantaged or traditionally underrepresented groups to study and pursue careers in environmental law. Law student fellows are generally placed in not-for-profit organizations representing traditionally underserved groups, and local, state, and federal governmental organizations. Law student fellows also receive a generous stipend in exchange for participation in the Fellowship program. Click here to learn more about the Fellowship program.
Job Opportunities. The networking, learning, internship, and other opportunities provided by SEER all contribute to creating job opportunities for law students. The Law Student Task Force is constantly working on bringing more job opportunities to SEER law student members.
Law students are often overwhelmed by an overload of information from all directions. SEER leaders recognize this and are looking for ways to create easily accessible and truly beneficial opportunities for law students. Law students are the future leaders of SEER and the current leaders are working hard to make sure that law students have the right tools and resources they need to shape their student and attorney careers. I can say from experience that SEER leaders and members care about your career and experience just as much as you do. If you are interested in learning more about environmental, energy and resources law, or you would just like to find out more about the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, please contact Yumeka Brown, program and membership coordinator.