September 10, 2018

Views from the Chair

Amy L. Edwards

It is a true honor and privilege to serve as your Section chair during the 2018–2019 ABA year. I look forward to an exciting year of top-notch programming, publications, online content, and other member benefits.

Why does your Section membership matter?

So why does your membership in the Section matter? The Section remains the premier forum for environmental, energy, and resource lawyers in the United States. During these turbulent times, it is more important than ever to have a place where we can have a vigorous debate about the ongoing vitality and merit of any given issue, program, or institution and how if might affect our practices and clients. My goal is to provide an open platform and to encourage lively debate on the issues which impact our members.

My goals for the year ahead

During the year ahead, I intend to emphasize three primary goals: engagementrecruitment, and outreach.

  • Engagement: Are you a member of a committee? Remember, there is no limit on the number of committees you can join. Committees produce online content and host committee programming calls. Moreover, they are a vehicle by which you can get involved—by publishing an article or moderating a webinar. You will get even more out of the Section by actively participating. Use the online “Members Seeking to Become Active in the Section” questionnaire to indicate your interest in becoming more involved in a committee—or just call or email a committee chair.
  • Recruitment: I hope you share with others the value you find in being a Section member and that you encourage nonmembers to join. Is your colleague a member of the Section? What about that speaker listed on a recent webinar announcement? Feel free to reach out to our Membership Officer, Jeff Dennis; or to the co-chairs of our Special Committee on Diversity Bar Outreach and Engagement, Roger Martella and Dawn Lettman; or to the co-chairs of our Special Committee on Young Lawyers, Kelly Poole and Taylor Hoverman; or to the membership vice chair of your favorite committee, if you would like to help.
  • Outreach: The Section prides itself on reaching out to state, local, international, and specialty bar associations, including the Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association, as well as to other like-minded organizations, such as the Environmental Law Institute, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and United Kingdom Environmental Law Association. We will continue our collaborative efforts in order to strengthen these relationships. If you have new ideas about opportunities for outreach, please let the chair of our Special Committee on Outreach, Alf Brandt, know.

I will emphasize three additional goals as well: refining member benefitsmentoring younger members, and content convergence.

  • Member benefits: In light of the ABA’s intent to implement a New Membership Model in the near future, we have begun to take a new look at the bundle of benefits that we offer our Section’s members. Stay tuned and help us be creative about new forms of content (e.g., podcasts, blogs, video).
  • Mentoring younger lawyers: Many of us having been practicing environmental, energy, and resources law for decades. As lawyers, we have a rich legacy of passing on our knowledge and experience to the next generation. One way the Section does so is through our Leadership Development Program and Membership Diversity Enhancement Program. We also plan to build up our library of podcasts and free CLEs. What else should the Section be doing? The Council members and I welcome your thoughts.
  • Content convergence: I will continue the work begun by former chairs Seth Davis and John Milner on content convergence: making sure that our Section leaders collaborate in developing programming and written content and that committees with overlapping interests are coordinating with one another. If you have ideas on topics for convergence and coordination, please reach out to the co-chairs of our Special Committee on Content Convergence and Coordination (C3), Rich Ericsson and Stephen Smithson.

Join us at our upcoming Fall Conference

I hope you will join me and the rest of the Section’s leadership team at the 26th Section Fall Conference in San Diego October 17–20, 2018. As past Section chair Seth Davis said about the Section in his initial “Views” column, “everyone is welcome, everyone is needed, and everyone can have a meaningful role.” He meant it, and so do I. Our Fall Conference Planning Committee has developed a stellar CLE program with lots of opportunities for networking. We encourage you to participate in our day of leadership meetings on October 20 as well. Come make new friends and catch up with old ones in sunny San Diego!

Amy L. Edwards

Amy L. Edwards became the Section of Environment, Energy and Resources’ 92nd chair during the Section’s annual business meeting in August 2018. A long-time Section member, Edwards has previously served as education officer, Council member, 21st Fall Conference planning chair, and chair of the Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee. She is a partner with Holland & Knight LLP in Washington, D.C.