EPIC Law Clerks

EPIC law clerks work on various projects where they gain experience that further develop each clerk’s research, writing, legal reasoning, and policy analysis skill set.  Law clerks work on projects related to climate action planning as well as a wide range of regulatory, statutory, and legal issues specific to funded and unfunded energy and climate change projects carried out by EPIC.

Meet Jessie Gardner

Jessie GJessie will be graduating from San Diego State University in May with a B.A. in Sustainability and a Certificate in Public Law. Currently, she is an active member of the SDSU Empowering Women in Law Society, Pre-Law Society, and Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. Prior to working with EPIC, Jessie was an intern for ECOLIFE Conservation, where she received the 2020 Volunteer of the Year award.

In the fall, Jessie will be attending the University of Oregon School of Law, pursuing a concentration in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, or playing guitar. Jessie is excited to develop her knowledge and skills before law school during her time with EPIC.





Meet Alexandra Cumberland

AlexandraAlexandra is a first-year student at the University of San Diego School of Law, pursuing a concentration in Business and Environmental and Energy Law.  She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018 with a degree in Energy Finance and seeks to build upon her prior work experience in clean infrastructure as sustainable investing continues to grow. She is passionate about promoting environmental practices, embracing diversity, and leading by example. 

Alexandra first gained exposure to solar and wind projects at GE Energy Financial Services and First Solar, where she analyzed debt-financed projects and tax-equity partnerships.  As the first analyst at Prisma Energy, she worked on energy storage finance solutions for project developers, retail electric providers, municipalities, and commercial and industrial consumers. 

In law school, Alexandra is pursuing her career goal by focusing on activities that expose her to the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the energy space.  As the 1L Representative in the Environmental Law Society (ELS), Alexandra enjoys connecting with other students and engaging in the dialogue around emerging issues related to climate change and energy. In her free time, she enjoys paddle-boarding, teaching yoga, hiking with her dog, and discovering new music.


Meet Michelle Felts

Law Clerk MichelleMichelle is a rising third-year student at the University of San Diego School of Law, where she is a member of the Women’s Law Caucus and Business Law Society. Michelle is from Santa Barbara, and graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Political Science. While at San Diego State, Michelle took a Politics of the Environment course that sparked her interest in climate change and environmental law. Additionally, Michelle interned with the United Nations Association of San Diego where she advocated for and increased public education on the United Nations’ sustainability goals at the local level.

Currently, Michelle is conducting research and gathering data for EPIC on various cities in San Diego by reviewing their existing Climate Action Plan mitigation measures and determining if the Climate Action Plan measures have been implemented. In her free time, Michelle enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with her two french bulldogs.




Meet Lucia Rose

Lucia RoseLucia is a second-year student at the University of San Diego School of Law, pursuing a concentration in International Law. Lucia graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in Law & Society and a minor in Anthropology. While at American, Lucia interned with US Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) where she recognized her passion for policy and government advocacy. Additionally, she worked with Lawyers Without Borders, primarily focusing on illegal wildlife poaching prosecutions in Kenya. As a track and cross-country athlete at American University, Lucia also worked with The Grassroots Project, a DC non-profit that utilizes D1 athletes to provide health literacy and social empowerment programs to middle school youth, before attending law school.

Lucia is the Events Co-Chair of the USD Women’s Law Caucus, involved in USD’s Environmental Law Society, and a member of the Surfrider Foundation. She is currently editing an article on the growing crisis of climate migration for publication in USD’s Journal of Climate and Energy Law this spring. In her free time, Lucia can be found surfing, camping, hiking, or running with friends and her German Shepherd/Husky mix.

Lucia will be supporting EPIC's legislative tracking activity.


Meet Hayley Zech

Hayley ZechHayley is a second-year law student at the University of San Diego School of Law, pursuing a concentration in Environmental and Energy Law. Hayley graduated from the University of Arizona in 2015 with a degree in Public Management and Policy and has a background in project management and capital budgeting. 

In law school, Hayley is on the board for the Women’s Law Caucus as an Events Co-Chair, is an Associate for the Journal on Climate and Energy Law, and is involved in the Energy Clinic on campus. In her free time, she can be found playing with her dog at the beach, hiking and camping, or relaxing and watching Netflix.

Hayley will be supporting EPIC’s legislative tracking activity.





Meet Sara Beth Keys

Sara Beth keysSara is entering her third year at the University of San Diego School of Law, pursuing a concentration in environmental and energy law. A background in biology and environmental science led her to pursue a J.D., focusing on California's policies affecting climate change and land use.
Working for EPIC, Sara has researched and analyzed energy efficiency programs nationwide with a focus on financing. She has also researched local carbon offsets in the state of California, helping translate research into legal analysis adhering to the California Environmental Quality Act greenhouse gas mitigation framework. 
Before coming to EPIC, Sara had the opportunity to extern at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Criminal Enforcement Division. Outside of EPIC, Sara is on the Executive Board of the Environmental Law Society and serves as the Student Liaison of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Law. Sara is excited to build upon her knowledge gained at EPIC to continue her work in land use and energy regulation. 

Meet Bryan Carlson

Bryan CarlsonBryan is a second-year student at the University of San Diego School of Law, pursuing a concentration in Environmental and Energy Law. Bryan graduated from the University of Redlands, earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Sociology and Anthropology. Before attending law school, Bryan was an AmeriCorps member and Land Conservation Leader with Mile High Youth Corps, where he led a team working on land conservation projects in Colorado. Bryan gained experience in the energy industry working with WYO-TEX Drilling Ventures, where he had the opportunity to travel throughout the western United States. These experiences drove Bryan to pursue his dream of attending law school, focusing on environmental and energy law.

Today, Bryan is an active member of the School of Law as an Associate Member of the Journal of Climate and Energy Law, the Director of Sustainability for the Environmental Law Society, and the Student Bar Association Representative for the Real Estate and Land Use Society. When not in the library, Bryan can be found outside surfing, trail running, rock climbing, hiking, and backpacking with his family.

 Bryan looks forward to developing his skills while contributing to the mission of EPIC.

Meet Alyson Crutchfield

Alyson CrutchfieldAlyson is a rising third-year J.D. student at the University of San Diego School of Law, pursuing a concentration in Environmental and Energy Law. Currently, Alyson is an active member of USD’s Environmental Law Society, Business Law Society, and Pride Law. She is also a member of the San Diego chapter of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy.

Alyson earned her B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in sustainability and business from Loyola University Chicago. Alyson spent the past semester in Singapore where she was introduced to a foreign legal system and international arbitration. Alyson has been able to utilize this unique experience at EPIC where she is researching energy-related international arbitration cases.

Alyson is dedicated to pursuing a career in sustainable development and looks forward to learning more about renewable energy projects and climate change policies, both local and international, while working with EPIC.