Law Firms

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Government Sector | Law Firms | Non-Profit Sector | Current Opportunities

Many of our alums find work in private law firms, either specific to environmental issues or in a specialized division of a larger law firm. Often, environmental law firms are also public interest-focused, non-profit law firms. Examples of public interest litigation firms include Earthjustice, Western Environmental Law Center, and the Land and Water Fund. Additionally, many of our alumni practice public interest environmental law in private practices or firms.

There are 3 main types of law firms:


Private Law Firms: Many large firms include sectors relating to the environment, such as energy law, water law, natural resources law, and environmental law. These attorneys often “specialize” in these various sectors.

Public Interest Law Firms: These firms hold 501(c)(3) non-profit status where they represent environmental clients. There are other non-profits who maintain in-house counsel to represent their organization in various ways, and non-profits who have a litigation department but whose primary environmental purpose is not necessarily litigation.

Private Public Interest Law Firms: Many of our alumni participate in what has been coined “private public interest law.” This includes attorneys who work in private law firms, but who regularly represent smaller clients against large economic interests or government.

Spotlight Alumni Working for Law Firms


Chad Marriott (’09), Associate Attorney, Stoel Rives LLP
Chad is an associate in the Energy and Telecommunications group in Stoel Rives’ Portland, Oregon office. He concentrates his practice on project development for a variety of renewable and more traditional energy technologies, including wind, solar, hydro, natural gas, tidal and wave power.

Austin Williams (‘07), Alaska Forest Program Manager, The Wilderness Society
The Wilderness Society is a D.C.-based non-profit conservation organization working to protect public lands in the U.S. As Alaska Forest Program Manager, Austin’s work focuses on protecting and restoring Alaska’s Tongass and Chugach National Forests, and the various communities, fish and wildlife they support.

Justin Massey (’03), Attorney, Miller, Axline & Sawyer
Justin’s practice focuses on bringing cutting-edge toxic tort cases involving contamination of public water supply systems. Miller, Axline & Sawyer is located in Sacramento, California.