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Malia Losordo, 23, of Raleigh, North Carolina, will be joining the Oregon Law community in August. She plans on pursuing a concurrent degree in environmental law and water resources management through collaboration between the School of Law and Oregon State University. She also will be a 2012-13 fellow with the Environmental and Natural Resources Law program’s Oceans, Coasts, and Watersheds project. 

Losordo earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina. She moved to San Diego following her graduation to work as a researcher for California Sea Grant. “It wasn’t until I learned about the concurrent degree program between UO and OSU that I began seriously considering law school, — there’s really no other school with that specific combination,” she noted.

Below is a Q&A with Losordo on why she chose Oregon Law and what she’s looking forward to as she enters law school:

Q: Why did you decide to apply to law school?

A: Water has always played a central role in my life.  My love for it is instinctive, an imprint left by a childhood of playing in tide pools, marshes, streams and on fish farms, but it has been strengthened by an understanding that water is an essential resource to the majority of life on earth.  Up to this point, I have focused on the science of water resources.

I have learned that managing natural resources for the benefit of society and the environment requires collaboration between scientists and lawmakers.  When I heard about the concurrent JD/MS degree, I realized that studying environmental law as part of a concurrent degree would be an excellent way to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become a facilitator of science-law collaboration in water resource management.

Q: Why is Oregon Law the right place for you academically?

A: To start with, the water law/science concurrent degree. Besides that, Oregon Law is a great school for someone interested in environmental law.  In addition to a great selection of environmental law courses and truly impressive faculty, the Environmental and Natural Resources Law program and its students have a great presence in the Oregon Law community — with PIELC [Public Interest Environmental Law Conference] and JELL [Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation].

The ENR Interdisciplinary Projects also provide students with the unique opportunity to apply their education to current, highly relevant issues and to interact with faculty and the community.

Q: Why is the school a good fit for you personally?

A: When I first began corresponding with faculty and staff about UO Law and my interest in the ENR Program and concurrent water resources degree, I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy and pleasant it was to get in touch with them.

Everyone I spoke with was so enthusiastic about the program and eager to share as much as they could and to introduce me to more faculty, staff and students.  After visiting during PIELC in March, I knew that my initial impressions of the school were right on the mark.  The UO Law community is so warm, passionate and supportive.  I’m excited to become a part of it this August.

Q: What are you looking forward to most about living in Eugene?

A: Living somewhere with real, flowing rivers and streams again. Running along the river and through Alton Baker Park.  Ducks football games.  Saturday Market.  Going to school across from historic Hayward Field every day – -and attending law school, of course!

Q: What are some of your personal hobbies/interests?

A: My main hobbies are running, hiking and standup paddling.  My favorite sports are Rugby and Track and Field, though I also enjoy attending baseball games in the summer — Durham Bulls and Carolina Mudcats back in North Carolina and the Padres out here in San Diego.  I love (and miss making) a cappella music as well.

Q: The most memorable place you have visited is…

A: Joshua Tree National Park.  I may be a water girl, but visiting Joshua Tree has made me fall in love with the desert.  I love how dramatic everything is there: the Joshua trees, the rocks, the huge open sky.  And the early, early sunrise in the desert — when there’s this strip of scarlet and gold sandwiched between the purple night sky and the black earth — is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Q: Who is an influential person in your life or a role model you most look up to?

A: My former rugby coach, Ramiro Diz, has been very influential in my life. In teaching us the beautiful sport of rugby, he taught our team the true meaning of passion. It’s a lesson I’ve carried with me in every endeavor since.



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