Persistence, dedication, strategy pay off

Intern reflects on work at Trustees and path forward

Jul 20, 2017

Catherine, Hannah and Kat finished their summer internships with Trustees, but they each reflected on what they learned and accomplished in the office and wilderness this summer. Here, Hannah talks about how persistence, dedication and strategy pay off. Check out how she found Alaska’s wild life just miles from the city and what digging deep into the Pebble mine taught her about how science and values impact communities.

As a legal intern at Trustees for Alaska, I learned about the many steps and important preparation that goes into bringing—and winning—a public interest case.

A photo of Lost Lake mountains reflected in the lake.

Reflecting at Lost Lake. Photo by Hannah Oakes.

The amount of preparatory work that goes into one challenge is enormous. It requires a team of strategic minds and immense expertise. I got to participate in this process through multiple cases at varying stages of litigation.

Building a record, anticipating challenges

By drafting comments on proposed agency rules, I helped to both mold regulations and build a record in anticipation of potential future challenges. I presented my work in a client call and sat in on legal strategy meetings.

Additionally, I researched and analyzed nuanced legal questions based on hypothetical scenarios to prepare for potential future claims. Lastly, I researched a critical minute legal issue for a complaint.

Defending public interests

The Trustees attorneys provided me with constructive feedback on my work. I saw my writing become stronger and clearer and my research more thorough and efficient.

Persistence, dedication, strategy pay off on Bird Ridge. Photo by Hannah Oakes.

I was grateful for the opportunity to both grow as an attorney, and to contribute to Trustees’ work in protecting Alaska’s myriad unique ecosystems. The most exciting thing I learned from my internship with Trustees is that we can and do defend the public interest.

There is a lot of momentum working against environmental conservation and wildlife protection, but Trustees has shown me that persistence, dedication, and thoughtful strategy can bring about lasting change.

Going forward, I will take skills gained this summer and apply them in my work as a public interest attorney.

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