Winter 2004

Environmental Justice Committee Announces Second Annual Essay Competition


For the second consecutive year, the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities' Environmental Justice Committee is offering an essay contest to currently enrolled students of ABA-accredited law schools. The topic of this year's contest is "Environmental Justice and Tribal Cultural-Spiritual Properties: Protection of Sacred Sites on Federal Lands after Bear Lodge Multiple Use Association v. Babbitt." The contest is co-sponsored by the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.

This year's environmental justice essay competition has been designed to: (1) increase the level of discourse and understanding about the protection of American Indian/Alaska Native cultural-spiritual resources and the issue of environmental justice; and (2) encourage student scholarship in the field.

The first place prize includes a $1,000 check and publication of the essay in the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Prizes also will be awarded for second and third place winners. Potential entrants must notify the Section of their intent to participate by Mar. 5, 2004.

The committee gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., Benjamin Wilson, Esq., and Steven Herman, Esq. in helping underwrite the contest.

Results of First Annual ABA/IRR Environmental Justice Essay Competition

A panel of four expert judges unanimously awarded the essay, "Who Wants to Be an Environmental Justice Advocate: Options for Bringing an Environmental Justice Complaint in the Wake of Alexander v. Sandoval" by Kyle LaLonde, first-place honors in the Section's first annual Environmental Justice Essay Competition, conducted last summer. Judges described the essay as "beautifully written;" "ambitious," "scholarly," and "everything you would hope for from a promising law student."

The judges noted that first runner-up essay, "Bargaining for Environmental Protection in the Aftermath of Alexander v. Sandoval," by Irene Choi showed "originality of thought and clarity of expression." Jocelyn A. Stotts' second runner-up essay, "Environmental Justice and the Law: Addressing Issues of Race, Income and Environmental Quality after Alexander v. Sandoval," was recognized for its "excellent use of language and sources."

The Section is grateful to the judges for their time and thoughtful comments: Michael Gerrard, Partner, Arnold & Porter; Barry E. Hill, Director, Office of Environmental Justice; Sue Briggum, Director, Government and Environmental Affairs, Waste Management Inc.; and Meredith Flax, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.

For the winning essays and a full statement of the contest rules, please visit the Environmental Justice Committee's webpage at www.abanet.org/irr/committees/environmental/home.html.

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