Thanks to the OLSPIF stipend I received, I was able to spend my summer working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in my hometown of Juneau, Alaska. Working for NOAA this past summer provided me with an exciting opportunity to expand my legal skills while helping to promote and conserve Alaska’s coastal and marine resources.
My primary duties this summer consisted of assisting staff attorneys with legal research and writing for memoranda and motion work. The work I performed varied from administrative issues on Freedom of Information Act requests and attorney client privilege to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issues, including habitat conservation, federal fisheries regulation, and marine mammal protection. I was also able to see first hand how an administrative agency creates rules and regulations, and due to the federal sequester, I was able to observe how agencies adapt to budget shortfalls.
Following law school I plan to spend my career working within the public interest, wherever that may take me. The position with NOAA allowed me to explore my interest in administrative agency work and civil litigation. Along with civil litigation in government practice, I have an interest in criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecutors in Alaska, both state and federal, deal with violations of wildlife regulations and laws. I believe that a firm understanding of marine and coastal law and issues will help me in prosecuting wildlife and environmental violations.
Working with NOAA helped me to expand my contacts in Juneau, where I plan to settle after graduation, and increased my skill set in an area of law that I am interested in. Without the help of OLSPIF I would not have been able to accept this opportunity and I am thankful to all of the people that help to make the OLSPIF stipend a possibility.