Law students go green
UA law student Spencer Scharff had an idea that he just couldn't shake.
The idea: To create a new, student-run publication on campus focusing on interdisciplinary study issues and how they relate to environmental issues.
Thus the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy was born.
""It is something that has percolated in my mind since some point in my first semester in law school,"" Scharff said.
The journal, which will begin production this semester, will tackle environmental issues on a state, national and international basis. It will address these issues with an interdisciplinary approach with economic, legal, scientific and other perspectives being addressed.
""It's kind of amazing for me,"" Scharff said. ""You really have to have institutional fluency to get something like this done.""
After spending his winter break building a Web site and branding the new publication, Scharff went door-to-door and class-to-class to find students interested in taking part in his vision.
""A lot of people seemed to think it was a good idea, but they gave me a look like ‘You really want to do this your last semester of law school?' But I felt like it was a worthwhile endeavor,"" he said.
Priyanka Sundareshan, a UA law and natural resource economics student, agreed with Scharff and was brought on as the executive editor of the journal.
""We're kind of coming from a tradition of law journals that are student written,"" Sundareshan said. ""We wanted to take that as a jumping point to create a journal to take advantage of the UA's environmental science and environmental policy programs that we have such great faculty, students and resources going on in.""
Another student attracted to the idea was senior articles editor Christopher Losi, a second-year law student who already has a master's degree in environmental science. Losi expressed his hope that the journal will appeal to students who are examining environmental issues.
Sundareshan will serve as editor in chief after Scharff graduates in May.
The journal is a sponsored publication of the UA Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. The Udall Center sponsors interdisciplinary research that links education with policy making.
""I feel our partnership with the Udall Center has and will continue to be a vital partnership for us to pursue our interdisciplinary goals,"" Scharff said.
Scharff noted that the journal is undergoing review for official recognition by the UA College of Law, a process that should be completed by next week.
Publication is planned to be on a biannual basis and the inaugural issue will be released this spring to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Groundwater Management Act. The journal will address issues that relate to the act and will include a foreword by former Arizona Governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, who signed the bill into law.
""It is definitely great that we were able to get (Babbitt) to contribute to our journal,"" Sundareshan said. ""It should really attract people to our inaugural issue.""
A release date for the first issue of the journal has not been set, but is expected to be sometime in late May or early June.
– For more information and to check out the inaugural issue visit www.ajelp.com