Twenty years ago, Luke Cole identified the need for “environmental poverty law,” which he described as “a model of practice based on client empowerment, group representation, and a narrow role for legal tools.” [Luke W. Cole, Empowerment as the Key to Environmental Protection: The Need for Environmental Poverty Law, 19 ECOLOGY L.Q. 619, 683 (1992). ] In honor of Cole’s life and work, which were devoted to representing low-income and minority communities exposed to more than their fair share of environmental harms, the American Bar Association invites thoughtful essays on the evolution and future of environmental justice lawyering. Essays may address issues such as standing and the limits of available causes of action; ethical, organizational, principal-agent, and other challenges of representing environmental justice communities and community based organizations; special concerns with good neighbor, community benefits, and other agreements; the appropriate roles an attorney should play in advancing client and community interests; implications of recent developments such as EPA’s Plan EJ 2014 (including “Legal Tools,” a review of available legal authorities), the preliminary finding of adverse, disparate impact of agency-funded activities under Title VI and subsequent settlement in Angelita C, and the rise of “climate justice” as an organizing principle.
PRIZE: The winning essay will receive an offer of publication from the Brooklyn Law Review and a prize of $1,000, courtesy of the American Bar Association. Submissions are due by Friday, May 3, 2013. Members of ABA’s Environmental Justice Committee and editors of the Brooklyn Law Review will select the winner, to be announced on Friday, July 12, 2013. The Committee includes the following members:
ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to currently enrolled students of ABA-accredited law schools and recent graduates (within one year). Only original, non-published essays will be considered. Papers submitted for course requirements are eligible for entry. Each entrant may submit only one paper.
AUTHORSHIP: Each essay must be authored by only one student. Jointly written papers will not be accepted.
FORMAT: Essays must be between twenty-five and forty pages in length, inclusive of footnotes, double-spaced. Essay style must conform to the current edition of THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF CITATION.
DEADLINE: Submissions must be postmarked or emailed no later than Friday, May 3, 2013.
SUBMISSION: Papers must be submitted either online in MS Word or in hard copy at the appropriate address below. Each submission must include the following information about the author: (a) name; (b) law school affiliation; (c) telephone number; (d) mailing address; and (e) email address. Papers will not be returned to authors.
PUBLICATION: Each submission must be accompanied by a letter certifying that the essay has not been previously published, that it is the student’s work only, and that Brooklyn Law School and the American Bar Association have independent, exclusive rights of publication, should the essay be selected as the winner of the competition.
JUDGING CRITERIA: Essays will be evaluated on the basis of four criteria: originality, depth and quality of research and analysis, relevance (timeliness, contribution to the field), and clarity of expression. Judges’ evaluations will not be made available to entrants or the public.
ADDRESS: Please send all questions and submissions to Gregg Macey, Chair, Environmental Justice Committee, American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, Brooklyn Law School, 250 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11201 or via email (preferred) at firstname.lastname@example.org, attn: Essay Competition.
FINALITY: Decisions of the judges concerning the competition are final.