Merging a Passion for Science with the Law

Meet Lauren Perkins

"Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men.” – FDR (January 24, 1935)

Q: When did you decide to pursue a law degree?

A: I became interested in law after taking an Environmental Law course my last year of undergrad with the Chief Counsel for the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara. While working as a litigation assistant in a small firm after undergrad, I was surrounded by outstanding mentors who encouraged me to pursue a law degree.  

Q: Why did you choose USD School of Law?

A: Originally aspiring to go to Scripps Institution of Oceanography to become a marine scientist, USD Law was the natural choice after my career plans took a turn.

Q: When did you decide to focus on energy and environmental law?

A: I came to law school for the purpose of becoming an environmental attorney, and interning at the CPUC’s Administrative Law Judge Division during my 1L summer triggered my interest in energy. Working for an energy law boutique in D.C., taking USD’s related course offerings, and researching offshore wind for the Journal, all solidified my interest in pursuing a career in energy and the environment.  

Q: What have you done to gain practical experience in the energy and environmental law?

A: Energy Clinic at USD; summer associate at Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke; intern at the CPUC Administrative Law Judge Division

Q: What advice would you give to a prospective student interested in energy and environmental law? What things might you have done differently?

A: Take advantage of the many internship opportunities available during your time at law school, both in the public and private sectors. Attend related conferences by applying for student scholarships and taking advantage of student discounts (for example, the State Bar’s annual Environmental Law Conference in Yosemite, and conferences through the Energy Bar Association). Take any related course offerings at the law school (e.g. Climate Change Law & Policy, Energy Law, Ocean & Coastal Law, Land Use), and look for cross-listed courses through other graduate programs at USD. Join the Journal of Climate & Energy Law and research a topic that interests you.

Q: What activities do you participate in at USD School of Law?

A: Environmental Law Society (President 2016-2017); Ninth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium Coordinator; Journal of Climate & Energy Law; Student Bar Association (Vice President of Organizations 2017-2018); externing for the California Dep’t of Transportation (Spring 2018); Energy Clinic (Spring 2018)

Q: What is the best thing that has happened to you here at law school?

A: Having the opportunity to work in San Francisco and D.C. while in law school; externing for a Federal Judge; interning for state agencies; visiting Tokyo for an ocean policy course; being a part of the Ninth Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium planning process; and most importantly, emerging from law school with a job that I am really excited about!

lauren perkins

Legal Interests: Energy, Environmental, Ocean & Coastal Law, Public Interest Regulatory Law

Bachelor's Degree: Biology, B.S.

Hometown: Darien, CT

Dream Job: Administrative Law Judge at the CPUC