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American Bar Association
American Bar Association Energy and Resources Committees

Young Lawyers Outreach Task Force

2009-2010 Committee Chair:

Jennifer K. Wills, Alexandria, VA

Careers in Environmental, Energy and Resources Law

A free podcast download is available of the Careers in Environmental, Energy, and Resources Law teleconference which was held January 27, 2010. Interest in environmental, energy and resources law has increased dramatically over the past couple of years, due in part to an increasing focus on climate change and a general awareness of related issues. In this quick teleconference, four lawyers with varied backgrounds in the fields of environmental, energy and natural resources law provided practical guidance on various career options, advice for achieving certain career goals, and overviews of their day-to-day practices.

Careers in Environmental, Energy, and Resources Law

About the Committee

The Young Lawyers Task Force is one of the Section of the Environment, Energy and Resources’ (SEER) cross practice committees. Young lawyers are encouraged to use the Task Force as a place to meet other Section members, as an opportunity to become more involved in the Section, and as a way to learn about opportunities within the Section and within environmental, energy and natural resources law. As we are a cross practice committee there is no one substantive area; however, we plan on working with substantive committees on publishing articles and presenting programs.

Message from the Chairs

The Task Force, as well as the Young Lawyers Division, is co-sponsor of the Basic Practice Series (BPS). This special series of sessions will provide an introduction to the practice of environmental law, an overview of the basic federal programs, and discussion of the current hot topics in each of the substantive areas. The sessions will also provide the lawyers attending the program with practical information, including identifying the best resources for lawyers to use efficiently (e.g. books, other publications, electronic resources) to learn more about these topics, and, thus, provide more effective counseling. The Basic Practice Series will be held during SEER meetings. We welcome the participation of new members and collaboration with other Committees and organizations.

Here are some of the projects we will be working on this year:

  1. E-mail Updates
    • If you would like to receive periodic emails on upcoming events, news relevant to young lawyers and new members of the Section, then sign up for the YLF listserv. You can do that from the website on the right hand side of this webpage. If you have an update you would like to share with Committee members, or if you have any comments on the e-mail updates, please e-mail Jennifer Wills.

  2. Programs and Public Service
    • a.) Teleconferences on jobs in Environmental Energy and Natural Resources Law – In connection with YLD, SEER held two teleconferences on mentoring for careers in environmental, energy and resources law. Podcasts are available on the SEER website and the podcasts are also available on the YLD website. YLF plans to coordinate with YLD to hold another teleconference of this kind this coming year.

    • b.) Basic Practice SeriesDuring the 16th Section Fall Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.

    • c.) Meeting programs – We hope to have at least one program of interest to young lawyers at every SEER meeting. We also plan to co-sponsor programs with other committees that involve issues of interest to young lawyers.

    • d.) Informal get-togethers – So that we can have the chance to meet each other outside of the meetings and the office, we plan on having informal happy hours and lunches around the D.C. area. And for those of you who are not in D.C., we would like to encourage informal get-togethers in other cities. If you are interested in coordinating YLF events in your city, please contact Lauran Sturm or John Calkin.

    • e.) Brownbags – We may have brownbags on topics of interest to Task Force members. We like to give young lawyers the opportunity to present on their area of expertise. If you have any ideas about topics for brownbags, please contact Lauran Sturm or John Calkin.

    • f.) Co-sponsoring – We plan to work with SEER’s International Environmental Law Committee on presenting at law schools in the D.C. area on international environmental law topics and career options. We will also seek out other opportunities to co-sponsor programs with other committees and with outside organizations such as the D.C. Bar.

  3. Newsletters
    • YLF does not have its own newsletter. However, we plan on working with other SEER committees to have young lawyers’ articles published in their newsletters. YLF’s Newsletter Vice Chair is Kevin Welsh.

  4. Web Page
    • Please take some time to explore the links listed in the right hand navigation of this page, which will take you to our latest newsletters, a "highlights" page with materials from our conferences and teleconferences, and links to other helpful Web sites. The Task Force will continue to enhance this Web site to communicate to our members about Task Force activities and to host dialogue discussion. If you would like to volunteer to be the Technology Vice Chair, please contact Jennifer Wills.
  5. Membership
    • The Task Force is always looking for new ways to serve its existing members, ensure that members have an opportunity to become involved in Task Force activities, and attract new members and ensure diversity in our Task Force. We welcome new members and will continue our efforts to recruit young lawyers to the Task Force. If you have ideas about how we can best serve our current members or how to recruit new members, contact our Membership Vice Chair, Sharma Hammond.

    • Interested in joining? If you are already a member of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Ecosystems, you may select the Young Lawyers Task Force, as one of your five committee memberships and join [hyperlink] without any increase in your ABA dues. If you are not a member of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and you are interested in joining, read about the benefits of membership. You can become a member of the ABA Section electronically at this link and select the Young Lawyers Task Force as one of your committees.

We encourage you to become actively involved in the Task Force and welcome you to enjoy the benefits of Task Force membership outlined above. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about the activities of the Task Force, would like to become more involved with the projects we plan to undertake this year, if you are interested in one of the vice chair positions, or if you are interested in initiating a project not listed above.


Jennifer K. Wills

Vice Chairs:
Committee Newsletters
Kevin Welsh

Sharma Suzanne Hammond

Lauran Meg Sturm

Public Service
John F. Calkin


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