As our readers have likely noticed, in the past few weeks TSL has been highlighting more environmental public services opportunities, like the BBA’s Charles River Cleanup, the Sustainability Task Force’s partnership with The Food Project (event on June 16, btw) and their trail transformation event in Roslindale. If you have had enough public service talk for your liking, well…too bad. On June 14th the BBA’s Environmental Sustainability Task Force will host an impressive group of panelists (including keynote speaker Gregory Bialecki of the Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development) at “Promoting Sustainability Through Public Service.” Rather than offer a long write up on why you should attend, TSL decided to go straight to the source – Pamela Harvey of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Pam, who organized the event with fellow DEP colleague Danah Tench and Task Force Co-Chairs Ben Ericson (also of Mass DEP) and Michelle O’Brien (Mackie Shea O’Brien), offered to answer a few of our questions about the event.
“Many attorneys understand the importance of sustainability, but their practices often focus on traditional legal services to their clients. Public service allows attorneys to expand their horizons and use their skills to assist community groups within the greater Boston area to promote sustainability within those communities.”
What do you hope to accomplish with this program?
“The program is designed to provide an introduction to the range of opportunities for attorneys to offer their legal talent to support sustainable community efforts. Attorneys will learn the types of opportunities available, how the panelists have matched their skills with projects, and tips for getting the most from the experience, both personally and professionally. The program includes many opportunities for attorneys with transactional skills, as well as for litigators.
The speakers will describe the representation of an environmental justice group concerned about the siting of an industrial facility, assisting a local group transform a vacant lot into a community garden, and market carbon finance. Other panelists have served on the boards of nonprofits devoted to local food, wresting with the cost of greener facilities, or broadening the role of traditional organizations to include sustainability. Greg Bialecki will address the importance of sustainability to economic development in Massachusetts, and prior to entering state government he was engaged in public service through his involvement with the Boston Public Market.”
Do you have anything else you would like to add?
“Sustainability is not just for environmental lawyers. The program features attorneys with specialized expertise in other fields that they have put to work on incredibly interesting and fulfilling projects. Attorneys can engage in public service work promoting sustainability as new lawyers to gain experience, or as experienced lawyers to learn something new.”
For those interested in more ways to incorporate a commitment to public service and a passion for sustainability, this is a must attend event. We’ll see you there.
For more information, or to register, click here.