I recently got back from attending a Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) Conference on the Endangered Species Act in Denver, Colorado. I was at the conference for three days and am so appreciative I had the opportunity to attend the event. There were a series of conferences being held by the RMMLF in the western/northwestern states as well as Canada these past couple of months. The University of Idaho offered the chance to attend one of the conferences through a grant by the organization. The conferences were directed towards environmental and natural resources law topics. A number of my colleagues (fellow 3L’s and 2L’s) attended the conferences involving Mining Agreements: Contracting for Goods and Services held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Oil & Gas Law, and Federal Oil & Gas Leasing both held in Colorado.
Specifically, I attended the “Endangered Species Act: Current & Emerging Issues Affecting Resource Development” conference. Since taking Wildlife Law last semester, I have had an increased interest in the Endangered Species Act, in particular critical habitat designation and the prohibition of destruction and adverse modification of critical habitat, Section 9 Take Prohibition, and the listing and delisting processes. All of these subjects were covered at the conference. When the opportunity to apply to attend the conference arose, I jumped at the chance and applied. The organization paid for the registration fee, hotel, and transportation through a grant to the school. This conference was not only a learning experience for me in an area of law that I feel very passionate about, but it was also a great networking engagement. I met a lot of great potential mentors and job interests that were all in the same field that I want to practice in.
These kinds of opportunities for students to attend events, such as the one I just attended, arise quite frequently. The law school delivers these kinds of events on a silver platter. It is my advice for others to take advantage of the opportunity and show interest or apply to join the event. No matter where you decide you would like to practice law in the future, there may always be a chance for you to unexpectedly meet your future employer at a conference or meeting. Especially if you attend an event that is in an area of law that you are passionate about. You never know who you are going to meet. So when the opportunity arises…go.