In the Context of Energy, Law is Anything But Boring

Meet Christa Lim

"Energy law is the intersection of a multitude of disciplines: business, government, politics, innovative technology, physics, transportation, and environment, to name a few.  It’s the application of tested arguments creatively re-crafted to resolve the latest issues.  How could I ever get bored?"

Christa Lim

Legal interests: Energy and Environmental Law, Business Law, Administrative Law
Bachelor's degree/Other degrees: B.S. Environmental Economics & Policy, UC Berkeley 2010
Hometown: Woodland Hills, CA
Current Job: Regulatory Attorney for San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Q: When did you decide to pursue a law degree?
A: Law school didn’t occur to me until halfway through undergrad. My personality is one of a peacemaker and problem solver, not a fighter, which is the general impression I previously had of lawyers. When I realized that the nuts and bolts of the energy and environmental policies I was studying and hearing about on the news were executed through law, I knew that my personality, my interests and goals, and a law degree were actually not mutually exclusive.

Q: Why did you choose USD School of Law?
A: By far the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) was USD Law’s major selling point for me. I already knew I wanted to be an energy attorney, and USD Law has one of the best energy law programs in the state. I also wanted to stay close to home in Southern California, and with San Diego’s rising clean tech and sustainable business economy, picking USD was an easy choice.

Q: When did you become interested in energy law?
A: I was already interested in the legal perspective of energy before I went to law school. What cemented my interest were the people I met, the topics I learned, and the skills I built through clerkships at state regulatory agencies. Those experiences made clear that energy law is the intersection of a multitude of disciplines: business, government, politics, innovative technology, physics, transportation, and environment, to name a few. It’s the application of tested arguments creatively re-crafted to resolve the latest issues. How could I ever get bored?

Q: What professional experience have you had since leaving law school?
A: After graduation, I worked as an associate at a boutique firm in Sacramento that serves clients in the energy and water industries. Now I’m at San Diego Gas & Electric, the utility serving San Diego and southern Orange County.

Q: How did your experience at USD School of Law prepare you for your current job?
A: USD Law gave me a strong foundation in the basic legal subjects, a necessity since energy law requires capable versatility. Crucially, USD Law provided a wealth of industry-specific resources. USD Law had an unrivaled offering of energy-related, practical classes taught by faculty with real-world expertise and who are well known in the regulatory arena.

Q: What advice would you give to a prospective student interested in energy law? What things might you have done differently?
A: Seek as much industry-specific experience as possible and find out what an energy attorney actually does on a day-to-day basis to develop your skill set and knowledge-base accordingly. In addition, try to learn the bigger picture of the industry, a feat in itself: the most inspiring senior attorneys are assets, rather than cost-centers, for business. If I had to do anything differently, I would have undertaken more informational interviews and met more professionals in this field earlier, including those not in law.

Q: What activities did you participate in at USD School of Law?
A: EPIC, the Energy Law and Policy Clinic, Environmental Law Society, and the Center for Public Interest Law.

Q: What is the best thing that happened to you during law school?

A: Meeting smart and talented friends who geek out on energy as much as I do!

Contact:

Energy Policy Initiatives Center
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (619) 260-4589
Fax: (619) 260-4753