Internship Spotlight: Hannah Block

As a recipient of the Susan Casey Brown Fund for McGill, McGill International Experience Awards, I cannot thank Mr. Garvin Brown enough for his generosity. This award has allowed me to focus on the projects and tasks of my internship, as well as on fully immersing myself in the field of environmental law. My internship with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick’s Environmental Practice Group proved to be an unrivalled opportunity to learn and contribute. Early in my internship, my supervisor used my research in a case to evidence environmental injustices. Never before in my work experiences have my actions or ideas had such potential to positively impact people’s lives. I am now sure I will pursue Law so that I, too, can stand up for peoples' rights by working to ensure their legal enforcement. Without your support, I would not have been able to come to this decisive moment in my life.

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick is a full-service business law firm composed of over 260 attorneys in seven locations across the United States. Their mission is to practice law with genuine involvement, both involvement with their clients as well as involvement within their communities. Although their practices range from intellectual property law to agribusiness and cooperatives law, I specifically interned with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick’s Environmental Practice Group in Toledo, Ohio.

I applied for this environmental law internship with the Environmental Practice Group at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick because I was looking for an opportunity to gain practical exposure to the environmental law and policy issues that I have been studying over the course of my degree, both within my International Development Honours and my minor in Environment. Furthermore, after graduation, my objective is to pursue a Law degree. As such, I knew that this internship would allow me to gain insight into whether pursuing Law, a significant commitment, would be the right decision for me.

Although I had no work experience in the area of environmental law, I thought that my academic background would be conducive to such an internship. My interdisciplinary studies within the environmental sciences include both policy courses as well as courses within the natural sciences which provided me with a foundation of understanding on which to build practical experience. Furthermore, my studies in economics provided me with a technical understanding of the companies, agencies, and industry groups with which the environmental practice group interacts.

My internship was supervised by Louis E. Tosi, a partner of the firm and the administrator of the Environmental Practice Group. As an environmental law intern, my responsibilities included completing legal research to support firm activities and working on long-term projects on related law/economic/policy/environmental topics. Day-to-day tasks ranged from preparing memorandums on recent US EPA-issued Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemakings (ANPRM) to research for Notices of Intent to Sue under certain environmental statutes.

I feel so fortunate for this internship, especially for it to have evolved as it did. As such, my overarching goal during this process was to approach every day of my internship opportunity with motivation, diligence, and gratitude.

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