I am pleased to host a guest blog on Earth Day from Claudio Ferreira Ferraz, BC Law LLM ’15, of Ferraz, Pinto, Lino & Nemer. As a student, Claudio taught in BC Law’s unique seminar program, where senior law students teach their own individualized course in environmental law and policy to Boston College undergraduates, under the supervision of BC Law professor Zygmunt Plater.
This post was also published today at the Bar Association of Espirito Santo State, in Brazil.
Claudio Ferreira Ferraz, BC Law LLM ’15
On April 22, the Earth Day is celebrated all over the world.
The idea started 50 years ago in the United States, when activist Senator Gaylord Nelson, influenced by the environmental disaster caused by the oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969, decided to unite the energy of student movements against the Vietnam War and the growth of environmental awareness in the country
Nelson initially devised an educational event on university campuses aimed at fostering academic discussions focused on environment protection. He chose April 22nd as the ideal date to maximize student participation, since it was a Wednesday, that is, in the middle of the week, and it was located between Spring Break and the final exams.
When I first started at BC Law as a bright-eyed, fresh-faced 1L, I was enthusiastic, but, honestly, utterly clueless about what I wanted out of law school. While diverse in backgrounds and experiences, it’s a safe assumption that, to some degree, BC Law students are cut from the same cloth. We are ambitious, friendly, and intellectually curious. And while that’s what I loved about our student body from Day 1, admittedly, having so many high achievers in one place can make forging an individual path somewhat challenging.
I waited patiently throughout 1L year, hoping to connect with a certain class or professor that would set me on my path. I struggled to make sense of what my past could mean for my future. As an undergraduate science major with work experience in communications, my interests have always been vast and varied. Without a clear-cut direction, I was determined that during my first months as a law student, I would expand my perspective on what it means to practice law in as many ways as possible. I joined student organizations, attended campus events, and most importantly, I continued to engage in all that I had learned prior to law school.
Finally, in the spring of my 1L year, something clicked.
“What kind of law are you going to practice?”
It’s a question every incoming law student is bombarded with from the moment they register for the LSAT, but I never felt fully prepared to answer it. I was interested in dozens of legal paths before law school, and a year at Boston College has only broadened my interests.
Meghan and Katie, 3L instructors for the environmental law course
BC Law has a very unique opportunity called the Environmental Law & Policy teaching program. Under the supervision of a BC Law professor, pairs of 3Ls teach a course for BC undergrads based around environmental law.
One pair of 3L instructors, Meghan Morgan and Katie Kelliher, was kind enough to give us an inside look at what they’re teaching their students, as well as what they each take away from the program personally (in addition to the academic credit).
Editor’s Note: Erica Novack is the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Erica was gracious enough to submit a post about the academic journals at BC Law, and what differentiates EALR from the rest. We are very pleased to present our fourth letter about the reasons to join the staff of a journal, and how students can apply.
I would like to echo what BCLR’s Editor-in-Chief Jennie Davis wrote in her thoughtful letter. The writing competition can be a trying experience, but you will get through it! And when you do, you will have the whole summer to unwind from this year. As you begin this competition, remember, you are all great writers, and you have proven it to your professors and to your peers (and to yourself) all year. Your experiences before BC together with your training this year have thoroughly prepared you for this competition. Continue reading
With the current state of the world, Environmental Law is only going to get bigger. At BC Law, there’s no question that we’re at the tip of the spear on a number of pressing environmental legal initiatives. Our environmental law review, Environmental Affairs, is the second oldest and most subscribed such journal in the country. Our professors of environmental law are luminaries in their field. And our student run Environmental Law Society boasts a proud, longstanding tradition of meaningful social and academic engagement. This January, the Environmental Law Society made a trip down to Provincetown as part of its annual Winter Weekend excursion.
Winter Weekend is tough to capture. It’s part lecture series, part bonding adventure, and recently, part drag karaoke jam fest. Let me explain. For the last three years, the Environmental Law Society has journeyed down to P-Town, famous for that old Cape magic, not to mention the town’s established LGBT community. Law students come to learn from great speakers, enjoy the best seafood, and croon a Journey song or two with the locally famous Dana Danzel II.