2015 Summer Interns

Aug 18, 2015
Lisa Oakley

Law school students intern with Trustees for Alaska each summer. They provide critical legal support at the same time as they gain valuable on the ground legal experience. Each one has a story to tell:

Michael Harvey (University of Washington 2015)

MIchael Harvey hiking in the mountains out of Hatcher's Pass.

Michael Harvey hiking in the mountains out of Hatcher’s Pass.

Externing for Trustees for Alaska this summer was an incredible and rewarding experience. Despite being here for only a couple short months, I found that I improved immensely in my legal advocacy skills, particularly research and writing, and at the same time felt that I was making a real contribution in protecting Alaska’s environment. I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, exposing me to the tremendous breadth and depth of legal issues that go into public interest environmental advocacy. The people at Trustees are not only wonderful to work with, but are also excellent attorneys who truly cared about contributing to my professional development. Besides learning complex issues of substantive law, working with them taught me invaluable lessons about everything that goes into public interest advocacy, particularly those lessons that go beyond what can be learned in law school.

The eleven weeks I spent in Alaska made for one of the best summers of my life. Alaska is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, and Anchorage is the perfect base from which to explore it. There are many amazing hikes within 20 minutes of the city, and seemingly endless opportunities for all types of outdoor recreation within reach all over the state. I spent nearly every weekend hiking and backpacking, from Denali to Valdez to the Kenai Peninsula, and still felt like I had only barely scratched the surface of what Alaska has to offer. This experience with Trustees made me fall in love with Alaska and convinced me that I will need to return as soon as possible.

Nicole Budine (University of Oregon)

Nicole Budine on the Harding Icefield hike in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Nicole Budine on the Harding Icefield hike in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Interning with Trustees for Alaska was a fantastic and rewarding experience. During my time at Trustees I worked with impressive and enthusiastic attorneys and staff members on a variety of environmental issues impacting Alaska. My work at Trustees ranged from drafting memos and sections of comments to researching potential mining projects. The attorneys at Trustees provided wonderful feedback and ensured that my time at Trustees was meaningful both for the development of my legal skills and the work of the organization. I gained insights and lessons that are sure to benefit me throughout my career. I am truly thankful to have worked with the exceptional attorneys and staff at Trustees.

Living in Anchorage provided a great balance between access to the natural beauty of Alaska and the excellent restaurants and breweries within the city. Trustees’ office is located downtown, just steps away from delicious food and views of Cook Inlet. The long summer days allow enough time for an after work hike or bike ride. Anchorage has wonderful bike paths and I spent several evenings going on sunset bike rides on the Coastal Trail. Living in Alaska provides endless opportunities for anyone who enjoys viewing wildlife and the beauty of wild places. This summer has been an inspiring and rejuvenating time, and I hope to return to Alaska soon!

 

Kat Fiedler (Pace Law School)

Kat Fiedler hiking on the Crow Pass Trail out of Girdwood.

Kat Fiedler hiking on the Crow Pass Trail out of Girdwood.

My summer internship with Trustees for Alaska has been invaluable. I developed legal skills and a better understanding of our legal and regulatory system regarding numerous environmental issues. At the same time, I also gained a better understanding of our role as (future) public interest environmental attorneys and how we fit into the many different efforts and avenues to protect the environment. Trustees provided an incredibly welcoming environment and space to learn, while also providing me with the opportunity to produce high quality work products. I drafted memos, white papers, and declarations, edited motions, participated in legal strategizing meetings, and communicated with clients. Throughout my work, Trustees’ attorneys were always available to answer questions and provide feedback, but also gave us the independence to learn on our own. I learned more this summer than I ever thought possible, including a better sense of where I want to go in my career.

I have also fallen deeply in love with Alaska, and I know that it will be a place I return to someday. Anchorage provided the convenience of a big city, with great food, beer, and a beautiful trail system for runs and bike rides after work. Anchorage was also a great jumping off point for adventures in every direction. Within a 20 minute drive from the city, there are trailheads leading to jaw-dropping views in the Chugach Range that rises above Anchorage. If you venture just a few hours outside of the city, the opportunities to hike and explore stunning and pristine landscapes seem infinite. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to be inspired by the beauty of Alaska, as well as the passionate and dedicated attorneys at Trustees for Alaska.

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