Receiving the OLSPIF stipend allowed me to pursue a valuable summer experience in public interest environmental law deep in the heart of Austin, Texas. Having decided recently to return to my home state upon law school graduation, it became a goal of mine to get some first-hand experience with environmental lawyers there. More precisely, my interests lie in water law and groundwater protection. The OLSPIF stipend made it possible for me to pursue a perfect summer opportunity.
I clerked with the attorneys at Save Our Springs Alliance (SOS), a non-profit that has been working to protect the Edwards Aquifer in Central Texas and its springs and contributing streams. Most notable is Barton Springs in the middle of Austin, where I spent plenty of hot days with co-workers and friends. I participated in SOS’s efforts to curb development and impervious cover over the aquifer, to protect the sensitive aquifer recharge zone from pollution, and to better understand the consequences of groundwater marketing in the I-35 corridor. I filed public information requests, researched groundwater and transport permits, read environmental impact statements, drafted motions and responses, and sat in on depositions and public meetings.
I can’t explain how valuable it was for me to work in Austin and begin to learn about state and local administrative and environmental law in Texas. Without an OLSPIF stipend it would have been extremely difficult for me to gain this experience on my own – experience that helped to reaffirm my plans and prepare me for life after law school. Thank you to everyone who has worked selflessly to make OLSPIF stipends available to students like me!