ELAW’s newest intern, Joanna Reilly-Brown hails from Florida, and so the wet weather she’s endured since her arrival in Eugene has been a bit of an adjustment. But she has maintained her sunny attitude as she dives right into working with staff attorneys Jen Gleason and Liz Mitchell on environmental law issues from around the world. I asked her: “Where have you been and why are you at ELAW?” Here’s her response:
“I am a rising third-year law student in the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law Environmental and Land Use Law certificate program, and I am so pleased to have joined ELAW as a summer legal intern. My interests tend toward a fascination with the interaction between humans, culture, and the natural environment, and I became a law student with the goal of developing a career in which I could use law to work towards finding solutions to the complex problems that arise out of that interaction.
I have been fortunate throughout my education to have many opportunities to travel internationally and gain valuable experience with global environmental and social issues. Before entering law school I completed a Masters in Environmental Anthropology, for which I spent two months conducting independent field research on indigenous perspectives on development with Maya communities in Belize, Central America. Last summer I had the opportunity through a UF Environmental Law study abroad program to spend two months in Costa Rica studying international environmental law and comparative watershed management, and working on a project dealing with comparative water law issues. This year, I spent the first two weeks of May in Belize working on a project through the UF Law Conservation Clinic involving small farmers converting to more sustainable farming practices in the buffer zone of a protected area.
Having spent the better part of my education working with global environmental issues, I was looking to gain practical legal skills and further experience through a summer internship placement with a public-interest organization committed to furthering human rights and environmental issues on an international scale. I am grateful to have found exactly that experience with my summer internship at ELAW. I feel very fortunate to be working with ELAW’s global network of environmental advocates and although I have only been at ELAW for a few weeks, the experience has already been more rewarding than I could have hoped for. Thank you all for this exciting opportunity!”
We are all excited to have Joanna here with us for the summer.