Friday, March 3, 2017

Lynsey Gaudioso ’17 JD/MEM

So I decided to pursue a joint degree with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies because I knew I wanted to focus on environmental policy. And so the ability to get a complete picture of what that policy might look like. So to get a better understanding of the legal aspects and regulatory aspects, and then also the science aspects, economic aspects, and the social aspects of environmental issues, really convinced me to do the joint-degree program.

So I've been involved in environmental law in a number of different ways. One is through the Yale Environmental Law Association. So I joined the board of YELA during my 1L spring, and then I took on more of a leadership role during my 2L years. I chaired that New Directions in Environmental Law Conference, where I really got to work with a team of students to put together this day-long conference that brought together hundreds of students and practitioners from throughout the Northeast, so that was a lot of fun.

And then I've participated in the Environmental Protection Clinic, and worked for a number of different projects. Through that, I've actually been a part of the clinical four years here, and that's been one of the best parts of my experience.

And then I've also taken a lot of classes in a lot of different areas, and really thought about how you can connect all of these different topic areas to improve environmental protection. So I've taken climate change classes and energy classes, and local government law classes and land use, and tax. And you just get to think about how all these different areas intersect, which has been a really great part of my experience.

Some of my most memorable experiences at Yale have been my involvement with the clinics. And so I've participated in three different clinics during my time here. So the Environmental Protection Clinic, the Community and Economic Development Clinic, and then I participated in a peacemaking, Native Peacemaking clinic this past fall. And those three experiences have really helped me figure out both what I want to do and to make really strong connections with classmates.

So for the Environmental Protection Clinic, I've worked on developing litigation to protect families from lead poisoning. And then I've worked with a tribe in Montana on helping them draft laws. I've worked with an Indian law organization on violence against women. And then for the Community Economic Development Clinic, I did advocacy at the Connecticut state government level to protect Connecticut's affordable housing law. And then for the peacemaking clinic, we worked with a tribe to help them reform their peacemaking program, which is a form of restorative justice.

And so the ability to work on such a wide variety of projects, and to take so many different clinics, and to meet so many different passionate students and professors, and just practitioners, had just been some of the most memorable aspects of my time at Yale. 

A student perspective on environmental law, the joint degree program with the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and clinics at Yale Law School.