Lobelia picture - 10384 Bytes A rare Lobelia, one of Hawaii's spectacular native plants.

Expanding Student Opportunities:
Promoting Student Scholarship and Off-Campus Learning

"The Environmental Law Program at UH provided me invaluable tools for understanding the complex range of environmental statutes and regulations. It also gave me insight into real-life practice issues from a variety of perpectives, from risk assessment for regulated industries to environmental justice concerns. The caring faculty and diversity of courses put me on the right course to secure a great environmental opportunity with a top-rated law firm in D.C."

Julia Latham, class of 2000, past Law Clerk, Honorable Senior Judge Hebert Y.C. Choy, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; associate with Vinson & Elkins, Washington D.C.

To expand opportunities for students outside the traditional classroom setting, the ELP has created a diverse program of grants and awards that supports law student scholarship and participation in regional and national conferences. The Wayne C. Gagne Memorial Award provides funding each year for the Director of the Environmental Law Society to attend the Western Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (WPIELC) held each March at the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon. With funding from alumni and local businesses, the ELP sends students to Washington, D.C. for the ALI-ABA Environmental Law Conference held in February of each year. This practitioners' conference is widely attended by leading government and private environmental attorneys. The Hawai`i State Bar Association (HSBA) Real Property and Financial Services section has supported student travel to a leading national land use conference.

With the generous assistance of the Pohaku Fund of the Tides Foundation, the ELP has established the Pohaku Fund Competitive Travel Grant Program, which funds travel for students to the WPIELC to present their scholarship at an ELP-created panel on hot topics in environmental law in Hawai`i. The Honu Award, sponsored by ELP Professors Jarman and Antolini, supports a third student's participation in the panel. Through these travel grants and awards, ELP students have an unparalleled opportunity to learn from some of the top environmental and land use attorneys in the U.S. and to share their scholarship and knowledge about Hawai`i environmental issues with scholars, law students, and practitioners across the country.

To further promote student scholarship under the Pohaku Grant, in September 2000 the ELP launched its new student paper series: He Mau Mo'olelo Kanawai o ka 'Aina (Stories of the Law of the Land), published both in print and on the ELP website. The Mo'olelo series allows the ELP to share with colleagues in the Hawaiian, U.S., and international legal, governmental, and public interest communities a selection of the best scholarship produced by our law students on environmental, land use, and indigenous peoples law issues. In addition, with support from the Pohaku Grant, ELP has intiated Mo'olelo On-Line!, a web archive of outstanding student papers on environmental law topics written for various courses at the School of Law.

Several cash awards have been established at the School of Law to recognize excellence in environmental, property, and land use coursework and scholarship. Encouraged by ELP faculty, School of Law students have been very successful competiting for local and national writing awards, including a first place win in the Hawai`i Chapter of the American Planning Association's 1999 competition and an Honorable Mention in the 1999 American Planning Association's national Marlin Smith Student Writing Competition. ELP students have also published their papers in Hawai`i and national legal journals, including an article on civil rights and environmental justice authored by Julia Latham, class of 2000, published in the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review; an article by Matthew Petrich, class of 2000, on the repatriation of cultural property, published in the Hawai'i Law Review; and an article on private property rights by David Breemer, class of 2001, co-authored with Professor Callies, published in the St. Louis Law Review. David Breemer commented on his academic experiences with ELP: "While in law school, I immersed myself in land use and property law, focusing on the impacts of environmental law on small landowners and businesses. Working closely with ELP Professor David Callies, including as his co-author on two articles, was an inspiring opportunity that I would not have had at any other law school. I'm grateful that ELP led me to my post-graduation fellowship with the nation's leading law firm in this area, the Pacific Legal Foundation in California."

Students have the opportunity to work as research assistants for ELP faculty, becoming involved in projects such as Professor Van Dyke's work with the government of Turkey to examine a maritime boundary dispute with Greece in the Aegean Sea and Professor Callies' book on the law of custom. Two students work with Professors Jarman and Antolini as Research Associates for the ELP, maintaining the web site, publishing the Mo'olelo series and on-line archive, and assisting in program research and administration.

Darcy Kishida, class of 2001, who clerked for Judge Corrine Watanabe of the Hawai'i Intermediate Court of Appeals upon graduation and whose paper was the second to be published in the Mo'olelo series, reports: "The Environmental Law Program really opened my eyes to both the beauty and fragility of Hawai`i's natural environment. The program has all the bases covered: the Environmental Law Society to discover and enjoy Hawai`i's environment with like-minded students and faculty, the Certificate program to learn the law, and close ties with Hawai`i's environmental law community."