May 1, 2020
In this Summer Student Retrospective series, four law students who worked with us last summer reflect on their experiences.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to complete a four-week internship with East Coast Environmental Law (ECELAW). I chose to work with ECELAW because I believe the work they do is an invaluable contribution to advancing environmental justice in Atlantic Canada. My experience was both challenging and incredibly rewarding.
During my time with ECELAW, I had the opportunity to work on a number of different initiatives. I conducted legal research and provided support on ECELAW’s work on the Regional Assessment of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling off the eastern coast of Newfoundland and Labrador; I worked with community partners to conduct research about endangered species protection in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; and, I assisted in dealing with public inquiries through ECELAW’s free public Environmental Law Inquiry Service. I was able to gain practical legal skills and further enhance the research, writing, and communication skills critical to becoming a successful lawyer.
One of the most challenging tasks I was assigned during my time with ECELAW was to draft public legal education materials about the proposed Alton Natural Gas Storage Facility regulations that Environment and Climate Change Canada intends to create. As a law student, I have become accustomed to writing about the law in a way that other legal professionals can understand; working with the lawyers at ECELAW helped me to understand the importance of providing the general public with easy-to-understand legal information so they have the confidence to understand their rights and protect themselves from environmental injustice. Environmental issues affect the day-to-day lives of people in Atlantic Canada, and my mentors gave me the skills to write using language that is concise and easy to understand.
I am so grateful for the time that I spent working with ECELAW, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the organization in the future.
Krystal-Anne's work with us was funded by an internship program administered by the University of Ottawa, where Krystal-Anne was pursuing her law degree at the time.