Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

SEER Law Student Mentorship Program Overview and Expectations

Program Overview

The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources' (ABA SEER) Bridge Program assists law students who are interested in environment, energy, and resources (EER) legal practice areas.

Learn more about what it’s like to practice environmental, energy, and/or resources law! Apply to be a mentee as part of the new “SEER Bridge” pilot program, which fosters the success of the next generation of environmental, energy, and/or resources law practitioners by facilitating one-to-one mentorship relationships between law students who are interested in environmental, energy, and/or resources law and attorneys who practice environmental, energy, and/or resources law.

Selected mentees will be assigned an attorney mentor who will meet with them on a regular basis between April and August 2021. Mentees will gain insight about the wide range of career paths in the environmental, energy, and resources law practice areas while building their networks and learning about valuable resources provided by ABA SEER.

Apply Today!

Applications are due by Friday, March 12, 2021

Prospective mentees should complete this application form.

Who Can Participate?

Attorney Mentors – Practitioners with at least three years of post-law school experience are encouraged to apply to serve as mentors. Mentors must be members of ABA SEER prior to applying for the program. You can join SEER online here.

Student Mentees – 2021 is the pilot year for this program, so it is only open to five law schools this year. The program is open to 3L students currently enrolled in one of the five schools listed below. Students must be members of ABA SEER prior to applying for the program. Law students can learn more about joining SEER (membership is free for students!) here.

  • University of Colorado
  • University of San Diego
  • Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • University of Houston
  • University of Minnesota

Students attending other schools will be invited to participate in future years. 

Program Expectations

All program participants are expected to commit a minimum of seven hours over the course of the program (April 2, 2021 through August 31, 2021), including:

  • 4+ one-on-one mentoring sessions, to discuss academic progress, employment status, or other professional development goals. Expected commitment: 3-5 hours.
  • Cohort events, such as networking and skills development seminars. Expected commitment: 3-4 hours.
  • Program evaluations, to help us improve the program going forward. Expected commitment: 1 hour.

Still Have Questions?

View the frequently asked questions below or contact Kevin Gordon at Kevin.Gordon@americanbar.org

What is the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Bridge (“SEER Bridge”) Program?

The 2020-2021 Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Bridge Program (“SEER Bridge Program”) is a program coordinated by SEER’s Environmental Law Society Task Force and SEER leadership that encourages students interested in environment, energy, and resources (“EER”) legal practice areas to broaden their exposure and deepen their engagement in the field.

To do this, the SEER Bridge Program: (a) facilitates one-on-one mentorship relationships between SEER law student members and SEER member practitioners; and (b) conducts workshops on professional skill-building and the practical application of EER law and policy. Attorney mentors also share SEER networking and outreach events – with a focus on mentorship and EER careers – at local law schools. 

What are the goals of the SEER Bridge Program?

Commitment to diversity – The SEER Bridge Program seeks to help increase access to environmental law by providing students from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop professional mentorship relationships with attorneys who share their interests and other commonalities. The program is committed to providing opportunities to participants from a diverse set of backgrounds.

Enhance exposure to environmental law – The SEER Bridge Program partners students (student mentees) with SEER practitioners (attorney mentors) from a wide range of practice areas and backgrounds.

Facilitate structured mentorships – The SEER Bridge Program selects student mentees and attorney mentors through an application process facilitated by volunteer attorneys who are members of the SEER Environmental Law Society Task Force. Student mentees and their mentors will be partnered according to their background and interest. All participants are expected to meet their mentor or mentee at least four times (virtually or in person) throughout the program.

Ensure accountability – The SEER Bridge Program also invites participants to provide evaluations for feedback to assess their partnerships and help improve the program.

What are the qualifications for a student mentee or attorney mentor?

All mentors and mentees must be members of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER). Law students can join ABA SEER for free!

Student mentees will be selected based on

Interest in EER work (as demonstrated by academic, work, or other experiences); and commitment to developing a meaningful mentoring relationship, participating in the professional community, and satisfying program expectations. 

Attorney mentors will be selected based on:

Demonstrated experience in EER legal practice (including at least three years of post-law school experience); and commitment to developing a meaningful mentoring relationship, participating in the professional community, and satisfying program expectations.

What are the program’s expectations, and what kind of time commitment does the program require?

Student mentees and attorney mentors are expected to commit a minimum of seven hours over the course of the program term (April 2, 2021 through August 31, 2021), including engaging fully in the SEER Bridge Program by:

Participating in at least four virtual contacts during the course of the program to discuss academic progress, employment status, or other professional development goals. Expected commitment: 3-5 hours.

Attending the (virtual) welcome and closing events as scheduled. Expected commitment: 3-4 hours.

Completing the mid-year and year-end evaluations of the SEER Bridge Program, which will help improve the program going forward. Mid-year evaluations will also provide an opportunity to assess the efficacy of each pairing and make adjustments as necessary. Expected commitment: 1 hour.

Student mentees are encouraged to contact other mentors besides their own, with the understanding that mentors may or may not be able to meet more than one mentee at a time, depending on availability.

How will student mentees and their mentors be partnered?

Student mentees and attorney mentors will be partnered according to their interests and/or background in a particular practice area and environmental, energy, and resources law focus area, as well as other preferences indicated on their application forms.

I applied to participate as a mentee in the SEER Bridge Program but was not partnered with a mentor. What other EER opportunities are available to me?

The program’s coordinators will make every effort to provide all student applicants with a list of EER practitioners who are open to being contacted by the students for informal networking opportunities (pending availability of practitioners). Students who apply for the program but are not selected to participate are encouraged to review SEER's law student opportunities webpage (ambar.org/SEERstudents) for additional resources.

What is the application process and timeline? 

Applications for mentees and mentors are currently being accepted through March 12, 2021. The mentee application is posted at the top of this page.

All applicants will be notified about the status of their application by April 2, 2021.

I have additional questions about the program. Who should I contact for more information?

Please contact Kevin Gordon, SEER staff member, at Kevin.Gordon@americanbar.org