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Heeding The Call

Publication Date: 
February 25, 2008
The Recorder
Evan Hill

Lecturer in Law and Director of the Environmental Law Clinic Deborah A. "Debbie" Sivas is quoted in The Recorder about the uptick in job opportunities within environmental law:

...In California, job prospects are likely to sprout from the ongoing legal battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over vehicle emissions standards, as well as the implementation of Assembly Bill 32, known as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

"A whole host of things will come out under AB 32, and some industries will be quite unhappy about them," said Deborah Sivas, a Stanford law professor who runs the school's environmental law clinic.

Sivas, who has worked for the Sierra Club and also Heller Ehrman, as an environmental attorney, said some of the most interesting work will be crafting government policy, particularly at the Air Resources Board, which she said is looking to hire roughly 100 new employees.


Sivas, an 11-year veteran of Stanford, said the last five years have seen a "huge explosion" across the field; out of a class of 170, she said, there are 15 or 20 students she knows dedicated to practice in the area.


... Sivas said many idealistic students share a painful career calculus: graduation equals huge loan debt, law firm equals attractive salary.


Nevertheless, some do get positions at places like the Natural Resources Defense Council or the Sierra Club, and some of those that go the firm route find small environment-protection-oriented boutiques like Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, she said.

"Especially this year and last year, people are holding out," Sivas said. "They're not going to go to a law firm and just take any old litigation job."