Clinical Law Clerks and Summer Advocates
Midwest Environmental Advocates runs two programs for law students, our Summer Advocate Program and our Semester Clinical Law Clerk Program. Law Clerks and Summer Advocates develop valuable skills in client interviewing, legal research and writing, and community organizing.
We are currently hiring law clerks for the Spring 2017 semester. Read more about the clinical program (PDF).
To apply for a 2017 Spring semester externship, send a cover letter, resume, and five-page writing sample by via email to Lauren Rudersdorf at firstname.lastname@example.org. Priority will be given to applications received prior to November 18th, 2016. You may also submit your materials by post to:
Midwest Environmental Advocates
612 W Main Street, Suite 302
Madison, WI 53703
MEA also accepts a limited number of non-law students for volunteer positions. For more information email Lauren Rudersdorf at email@example.com
Summer Advocate Program
Semester Externship for UW-Madison Law Students
Midwest Environmental Advocates offers a unique experience for University of Wisconsin law students to get an in-depth look at all aspects of environmental law practice and nonprofit legal work.
Our externship provides the opportunity for students to gain a practical knowledge of the workings of environmental law and hone their skills on real issues and cases. Working as law clerks at Midwest Environmental Advocates, students are involved at all levels of environmental litigation from researching new topics in environmental protection to helping prepare briefs in ongoing litigation. We strive to provide students with the opportunity to see environmental law 'in action'.
Past activities have included delivering public comments at legislative hearings, meeting with community members to build grassroots coalitions, and documenting environmental violations ‘in the field.’
In the past, MEA has also been happy to offer seminars to provide students with a varied and in-depth look at all aspects of the practice of environmental law. Topics have included legal issues in citizen suits, using the Clean Water Act, the inner workings of the Department of Natural Resources, environmental justice, working effectively with citizens’ groups and lobbying. We hope to continue these seminars as interest and schedules allow.
Seminars are to be taught by a combination of Midwest Environmental Advocates staff and outside experts, including some non-lawyers, who provide unique perspectives on environmental law. Guest speakers have included local environmental attorneys in private practice, a former Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and a former Public Intervenor, among others.
Taken in place of regular classes, students are awarded seven credits on a pass/fail basis for the semester externship. Based on the standard university requirement for internship hours, students work 315 hours in the semester, including the seminars. Seminars are analogous to law school seminars and may include readings.
2016 Fall Law Clerks
Jessa Hackman is from North Prairie, Wisconsin and currently attends the University of Wisconsin Law School. She earned a B.S. in Social Work from Marquette University. Jessa has previously worked in a variety of non-profit settings ranging from youth development and domestic violence advocacy to sustainable agriculture and international grassroots community development. She hopes that her clerkship with Midwest Environmental Advocates will equip her with an understanding of the remedies and resources available to solve our local communities’ pressing environmental issues.
Kate is from Iowa City, Iowa and is in her third year at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is also pursuing a Master of Science degree in Water Resources Management from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Kate and her graduate cohort are currently conducting an environmental assessment of Stricker’s Pond in Middleton. During her clerkship with MEA, Kate hopes to gain a better understanding of Wisconsin environmental law, particularly in the areas of water and local land use policy.
Laura grew up in Stevens Point, WI and is a third-year law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Throughout law school, Laura has taken numerous courses related to environmental law and criminal enforcement. As an MEA law clerk, Laura hopes to gain a better understanding of the legal remedies available to the public to protect the environment.
2016 Summer Law Clerks
Heather grew up in Marinette, WI and is a third-year law student at Vermont Law School earning a Master’s Degree in Energy Regulation and Law. She gained experience as a student clinician working with local clients to develop renewable energy projects. Before law school she earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Spanish at Lawrence University, with an interdisciplinary degree in International Affairs. Before attending law school, Heather worked as an environmental scientist with clean-up projects in northern Wisconsin. She hopes that she will better understand environmental laws and can help to positively resolve current issues affecting the people of Wisconsin during her clerkship at MEA.
Dan is from Oak Hill, Virginia and is a student and research fellow at the University of Oregon School of Law. He graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2015 with a BS in Environmental Policy and Planning and a political science minor. During his first year in law school, Dan collaborated with students and faculty on water law research projects and was named a co-director for the 2017 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. In his clerkship with MEA, Dan hopes to gain a practical understanding of the connection between environmental law and human health and well-being.
Zachary "Zack" Strom
Zack is from Los Altos, California, although he calls Wisconsin a second home. He earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies and History from UW-Madison and is studying law at Northwestern University in Chicago. His primary areas of interest are in land use and water law, but he is interested in learning more about all aspects of environmental advocacy through his MEA summer clerkship.
2016 Spring Law Clerks
Lisa is from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin and attends the University of Wisconsin Law School. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado Boulder where she studied Environmental Studies, Sociology, and Geography. During her clerkship at Midwest Environmental Advocates, Lisa hopes to build on her previous experiences to gain a better understanding of the practice of environmental law and to further her interest in local environmental issues.
Melissa is from Mequon, Wisconsin and received a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is currently in her third year at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Throughout law school, Melissa has taken numerous courses related to environmental, food, and administrative law. She has also had various public interest clerkships specifically within food and environmental law. As an MEA extern, Melissa is eager to learn more about environmental action and contribute to MEA’s cause.
Colin is from Delafield, WI and currently is in his second year at Marquette University Law School and earned a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Colin gained an interest in the environment through yearly vacations to beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada, where his family has property near the Atlantic Ocean. He hopes to gain a better understanding of the remedies available to the public to help protect our natural resources as well as some of the most pressing issues facing environmental conservation and protection.
2015 Fall Law Clerks
Evan grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, earned a B.A. in history and religious studies at UW–Madison and is now studying law at the University of Wisconsin Law School. His study and clerkship focus includes water use, energy policy, and sustainable economies. Evan also clerked at MEA during the summer of 2015.
Kaitlin is from Mukwonago, Wisconsin and currently attends the University of Wisconsin Law School. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her clerkship at Midwest Environmental Advocates, Kaitlin hopes to gain a better understanding of the current environmental law landscape in Wisconsin while exploring her interest in public policy work. Kaitlin also volunteered at MEA during the spring 2015 semester.
Adam is from Janesville, Wisconsin and is a first-year law student at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. He earned a B.A. in Biological Aspects of Conservation and Sociology from UW–Madison. During his first year, Adam joined the CU Environmental Law Society and was chosen as a first-year officer. In his clerkship with Midwest Environmental Advocates, Adam hopes to gain better understanding of the issues surrounding resource and land use while moving toward a career in public interest law. Adam also clerked at MEA during the summer of 2015.
2015 Summer Law Clerks
Noelle is from Dearborn, Michigan and currently attends the University Of Iowa College Of Law. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan where she studied sociology and political science. Prior to her clerkship with Midwest Environmental Advocates, Noelle worked with nonprofit organizations in the metro Detroit area and she looks forward to doing public interest work while exploring environmental issues.
Logan is from Marion, Iowa and studies law at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He earned a B.A. in History from the University of Northern Iowa, where he took an interest in environmental issues after studying cultural and environmental history. Through his work at Midwest Environmental Advocates, he hopes to develop a better understanding of contemporary environmental issues in the Midwest and the legal solutions available to the public.
2014 Summer Law Clerks
Jared is from Appleton, Wisconsin, and studies law at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee. He has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a Summer Advocate for MEA, Jared assists staff with legal research and document drafting for litigation involving a variety of environmental issues, including air quality regulation near frack sand mines.
Dana is originally from Houston, Texas, but now calls Chicago home. She received her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently a 3L at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. At CU, she is focusing on environmental law, specifically Clean Air Act issues and international environmental law. At MEA, she hopes to further her understanding of environmental issues through work with the Clean Water Act, wetlands, and CAFO permitting.
Peter is from St. Louis, Missouri and received an Honors B.A. in International Affairs with a focus in International Economic Relations from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is clerking for MEA prior to beginning his 3L year at Marquette University Law School, where he studies water technology and policy, clean energy development, and real estate. Peter’s focus at MEA has been on water quality and permitting issues and the related interaction between federal and state law.
Olivia Moe is from Stoughton, Wisconsin, and studies law at the University of Minnesota Law School. She received a B.A. in environmental studies and English from UW-Madison. In her MEA law clerkship, Olivia is working on issues related to frac sand mining and she hopes to use this experience at the intersection of law, science, and policy in a future career in environmental law.
2013 Fall Law Clerks
David McColloch is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received his B.A. in Political Science from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. He is working for MEA in his third year at the UW-Madison Law School, assisting with a range of issues involving water quality and local government. He is interested in environmental law, land use and planning, and government relations. He is looking forward to a career in public interest law.
Kellan Mclemore is from Denver, Colorado and received his B.A. in Biology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He is serving his clerkship at MEA in his second year at the UW-Madison Law School. Through his legal research and support for litigation on water quality regulation near CAFO farms in Wisconsin, he hopes his time at MEA will further his interest in public interest law, particularly environmental law. His goal is to start a private practice in environmental law. Kellan clerked for MEA for both the fall 2013 semester and the spring 2014 semester.
Maddy Ziegler is from Janesville, Wisconsin, and studies law at the UW-Madison Law School. She has undergraduate degrees in English and Political Science from the UW–La Crosse. She has a longstanding interest in the environment and is happy to be putting that interest to work at MEA researching a wide range of environmental issues.
2013 Summer Law Clerks
Cassie McCrae is from Lake Helen, Florida, and studies law at The University of Texas School of Law. She has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago. As a law clerk for Midwest Environmental Advocates, McCrae worked on local land use issues and researched citizens’ rights related to frac sand mining and processing in Wisconsin. For the academic year 2013-14 Cassie is 3L at The University of Texas School of Law and will be a clerk for Judge Robert C. Chambers, Southern District of West Virginia, in Huntington, WV from August 2015-16.
David Conrad is from Stanley, NC and studies law at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. He has an undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from the University of North Carolina. As a law clerk for Midwest Environmental Advocates, David worked on comments on permits for CAFOs and researched citizens’ rights in reference to various water quality issues.
2013 Spring Semester Law Clerks
Erin is originally from Denver, CO, but has also lived and worked in New England and Southern California. As a law student at the University of Wisconsin Law School, Clark focused on real estate, land use, and environmental law. Having worked as an urban planner for the City of Pasadena, CA before entering law school, she hopes to combine her interest and expertise in municipal government and land use planning with the law. Her work with MEA included reviewing and commenting on proposed rule changes by Wisconsin administrative agencies that could impact environmental protection and enforcement.
Laura is from Deerfield, Wisconsin and studied law at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Her undergraduate studies in social and environmental justice lead to her interest in environmental law. Her experience as a clerk at Midwest Environmental Advocates served to cement this passion.
Pamela M. Ritger
Originally from Milwaukee, Pam has worked on environmental issues in Washington D.C. and Ecuador. She completed a J.D., a Masters in International Public Affairs, and a certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2013.
Before that she earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in Latin American Studies from Carleton College.
Since school, she began working with Clean Wisconsin as Grants Manager in September 2013 and became Staff Attorney and Climate Resilience Project Manager in March 2014. She works with Clean Wisconsin's Legal Department to strengthen and enforce regulations to protect our air and water, and to facilitate greater usage and development of clean, efficient energy in Wisconsin. Pam also works with Clean Wisconsin's Water Program, raising awareness and encouraging installation of green infrastructure practices in Milwaukee neighborhoods surrounding the 30th Street Industrial Corridor.