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Oregon Law students earn internships with the Environmental Protection Agency

Aileen Carlos and Anna Makowski to spend their summers with federal agency

Aileen Carlos, 27, a concurrent law and master’s degree student in Oregon Law’s Conflict and Dispute Resolution program, earned an internship with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center (CPRC).

The internship will take place at the EPA headquarters, only a few blocks away from the White House in Washington, D.C. Carlos will be responsible for helping to create the public participation processes and attending stakeholders meetings involved in projects that ensure waterways and the surrounding land are protected from harm.

Carlos notes that pursuing a legal degree and her master’s in dispute resolution gives her a unique skill set to bring to the agency.

“I think being in the joint JD/MA program helps me in that it provides a different perspective on conflict resolution — one that includes the possibility of litigation, mediation, and facilitated public meetings as a comprehensive approach to environmental conflict resolution,” she said. “It was this perspective, along with my JD training that the EPA quoted as its reason for selecting me as an intern.”

The CPRC provides many different services to EPA managers and staff. It assists in retaining professional facilitators and mediator’s experiences in environmental conflicts. It performs workshops and seminars aimed at strengthening staff negotiation and consensus-building skills. The CPRC also performs situation and stakeholder assessments aimed at helping parties to identify the best way to move forward and build support. And finally, it offers expert one-on-one advice on addressing difficult programmatic issues and effective negotiation strategy.

“I am extremely excited about the internship for the opportunity to work with a governmental agency tasked with protecting the environment and to see how it is adapting with the changing methods of environmental protection.”

Similarly, Anna Makowski, 25, earned her internship with the EPA’s Office of General Counsel. As a rising third-year student at Oregon Law, Makowski is one of seven law clerks in the Summer Honors Program there. She also will work in Washington, D.C. at the EPA headquarters.

Makowski applied to the internship because she is interested in the work of the EPA. She says the Office of General Counsel will give her the chance to work on many different areas of law, including environmental/natural resource, employment, information, and technology law. After being selected from approximately 500 other applicants, Makowski is extremely excited about her summer experience.

Specifically, she will be responsible for helping attorneys with their cases. This primarily involves researching legal questions and writing memoranda. She will attend meetings and hearings with the EPA as well.

“I think that my work last summer at the Oregon Department of Justice will help succeed as a law clerk at the EPA. While at the ODJ, I also was given assignments in many different areas of law and did a lot of research and writing for many different attorneys,” said Makowski.

Both of these students’ law school backgrounds provide them with different areas of expertise to apply to their EPA internships. However, they will both walk away benefitting from first hand experiences with the EPA, and will be one more step ahead on their journey to their professional careers.

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