About Past Legal Interns & Externs

Law & Policy Program: About Past Legal Interns & Externs


Photo: Beaux JonesBeaux Jones

Legal Intern from May 2009 – April 2010

Educational Background: Davidson College, Class of 2008; LSU Law, Class of 2011

Current Employment: I am currently serving as an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Section of the Louisiana Department of Justice. In my job I focus mainly on Environmental Litigation. I also serve as the Attorney General’s representative to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (aka New Orleans Levee Boards).

What was your favorite project while working at Louisiana Sea Grant?
Two projects really stand out, because their effects when far beyond the academic world and had definite practical application. The first was researching the Elmer’s Island ownership structure, which turned into a presentation at the CNREP conference. The second would be an issue dealing with takings law and the potential to hold local governments liable for allowing developments that increase flooding. This second project started as a Memo to the Houma City Council and completely changed the trajectory of a local development project, adding more protection for a flood-prone area. The work was also adapted for publication in the National Sea Grant Law Journal.

How did your work at Louisiana Sea Grant prepare you for your current job?
At Louisiana Sea Grant, we were confronted with a wide spectrum of issues that at first glance did not mesh, but overtime we learned the interdisciplinary nature of the issues surrounding the Louisiana coast. We saw firsthand how no single interest group could address issues without taking into account other groups. This was a necessary lesson to learn and prepared me for my work with the State. While representing the State of Louisiana in environmental issues, I must constantly recognize and understand the many different interest groups and parties that are affected by decisions made at the State level. Working for the Law & Policy Program taught me that I must approach this job in a holistic manner that looks at our coast as a far-reaching, dynamic ecosystem with many lives and livelihoods at stake.

Any advice for students interested in environmental or coastal law issues?
If you are interested in environmental or coastal law, there is no better case study than Louisiana. Unlike many other environmental-oriented legal programs, in Louisiana we have the almost unavoidable opportunity to live as a part of one of the greatest environmental and coastal planning challenges to face this world. Get involved, get your hands dirty and learn as much as you can about the science, the law and the people involved in the fight to preserve our ecosystem.


 

Photo-Blank-MaleRyan M. Seidemann

Legal Intern from May 2001 – August 2003

Educational Background:
B.A. – Florida State University – 1996
M.A. – Louisiana State University – 1999
B.C.L. – Louisiana State University – 2003
J.D. – Louisiana State University – 2003

Current Employment: Chief, Lands & Natural Resources Section, Civil Division, Louisiana Department of Justice; Adjunct Professor, Southern University Law Center

What was your favorite project while working at Louisiana Sea Grant?
Researching and writing about incentives for wetlands preservation.

How did your work at Louisiana Sea Grant prepare you for your current job?
My Sea Grant work was largely an academic version of the work that I do now. It gave me a background into many of the lands, resources, and environmental issues that I now deal with on a daily basis. It also allowed me to hone my research and writing skills prior to having to do it for a living.

Any advice for students interested in environmental or coastal law issues?
These areas are fascinating aspects of the law and the issues are seldom the same from day-to-day. While it is important to take the basic classes during school, practical experience, even if it is not in a traditional law firm setting, is invaluable. There are few entities that provide students with the foundation for these areas like the Louisiana Sea Grant Law & Policy Program.


 

Meagan Stewart

Meagan A. Stewart

Legal Intern from December 2010 – April 2011

Educational Background: I graduated from Louisiana State University’s Law Center in 2012. I am a member of the Minnesota Bar and the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Current Employment: I am Of Counsel at Battina Law, PLLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At Battina Law, we specialize in civil litigation. We take an out-of-the-box approach to legal practice and give our clients the individualized attention they need to fully understand their legal rights. In my free time, I also enjoy legal blogging.

What was your favorite project while working at Louisiana Sea Grant?
While I was at Louisiana Sea Grant, I had the opportunity to research several challenging legal issues. My favorite project involved researching whether the Louisiana Legislature could extend the state’s gulfward boundary by three marine leagues into the Gulf of Mexico. The project involved researching federal and state laws and over 70 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence. After beginning my research, I realized the legal issue also required delving into Louisiana’s Constitution of 1812 and several historical documents surrounding Louisiana’s admission into the Union. After weeks of research, I felt comfortable making statutory recommendations on the issue to the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, who in turn, advised the Louisiana Legislature on this issue. The project was intellectually challenging and a truly rewarding legal experience.

How did your work at Louisiana Sea Grant prepare you for your current job?
At Louisiana Sea Grant, I developed strong legal research and writing skills. In practice, these skills are necessary for effective advocacy. At Louisiana Sea Grant, I also learned to think outside the box about legal problems. The solution to a legal problem will not always be in a statute or case. Often, an attorney has to dig deeper and consider a variety of factors surrounding a legal issue, including the social, economic and historical ramifications. Louisiana Sea Grant allowed me to fully develop these very important skills.

Any advice for students interested in environmental or coastal law issues?
Students should search for employment opportunities in environmental law. Louisiana Sea Grant is a great place for law students to begin a career in environmental or coastal law. Louisiana Sea Grant gives law students the chance to work on real and pressing environmental legal issues that affect the people of Louisiana and residents across the Gulf Coast. At Louisiana Sea Grant, students also grow professionally and develop strong legal skills that are useful in any type of practice.


 

Photo: Adrian Stull

Adrian Stull

Legal Intern from August 2011 – May 2013

Educational Background:B.S. in Agricultural Leadership & Development, Texas A&M University, 2008
J.D., Southern University Law Center, 2013

Current Employment: I am currently employed as a law clerk at the Rothkamm Law Firm in Baton Rouge. My job involves conducting legal research and helping prepare the attorney for criminal defense and personal injury cases and trials. I also prepare petitions and memos in anticipation of litigation.

What was your favorite project while working at Louisiana Sea Grant?My favorite project while at Sea Grant was preparing and presenting a poster at CNREP in New Orleans. I was able to present on fracking, which is an issue that interests me as it has affected my family in many ways. Being able to collaborate with a fellow co-worker offered me a chance to get a different viewpoint on things.

How did your work at Louisiana Sea Grant prepare you for your current job?
Working at Sea Grant taught me the importance of seeing projects through to the end or close to the end. It taught me the importance of looking at all issues, even those that may not be in the client’s favor. Sea Grant also prepared me for talking to and reaching out to numerous individuals from various agencies. Part of practicing law is being able to talk to many different people, and Sea Grant taught me the importance of communication.

Any advice for students interested in environmental or coastal law issues?Take advantage of the opportunities that Sea Grant provides you with. The work you do at Sea Grant today may have an effect on those that follow you tomorrow.