Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jeremy Fancher, 2009 LLM Graduate, Begins Work as Policy Analyst and In-House Counsel for International Mountain Biking Association

Jeremy Fancher, a University of Denver Sturm College of Law 2009 LLM graduate from the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy program, has been hired as a policy analyst and in-house counsel by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

According to the IMBA, which seeks to create, enhance and preserve mountain biking experiences worldwide, Mr. Fancher will "lead the IMBA's efforts to shape national mountain bike and public lands policies by working closely with many federal partners including the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, as well as meeting with officials from state and local governments."

Mr. Fancher said, "I am thrilled to join IMBA and contribute to the legacy of developing and preserving mountain biking opportunities on public lands."

During high school Jeremy began mountain biking in the hills near Santa Barbara, California. However, his time on a bike declined while he was playing football for Azusa Pacific University. After a period of not riding, he returned to his bike after viewing the Lifetime Fitness Leadville 100 mountain biking event.

He will be based in IMBA's Boulder headquarters.

Monday, September 6, 2010

JD Graduate Profile: Becky Bye, Legal Counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewables

Issues related to renewable energy and energy efficiency are among the top energy-related matters domestically and internationally as nearly every country grapples with how to provide affordable, dependable, and clean energy.

Becky Bye, a May 2005 JD graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, is someone who works on these issues daily. To Ms. Bye, the practical aspects of how the U.S. can and is implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy alternatives are the fundamental questions addressed in her legal counsel position for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Golden Field Office in Golden, Colorado.

More specifically Ms. Bye provides legal advice on legal issues and laws ranging from energy and environment to labor and government contracting. She negotiates power purchase agreements and interconnection agreements with private entities for the installation and sale of renewable energy on DOE-owned sites. She also provides lead legal support for matters involving a variety of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) including the state and local government energy efficiency and conservation block grant program funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

Before assuming her role at the Department of Energy, Ms. Bye worked as an associate attorney at Holland & Hart in Denver and later as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado. In the latter position, Ms. Bye provided legal advice to the Commissioners of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding federal and state energy, gas, telecommunications, water, and transportation laws. She also acted as lead counsel on behalf of the PUC for hearings and decisions regarding energy efficiency initiatives in buildings, gas rates, new energy turbines, and proposed transmission lines proposals.

Because of Ms. Bye's expertise and career experience, Environment21 posed several questions to her:

1. When did you first get interested in renewable energy and energy efficiency?
"Since my childhood, I was always interested in pursuing law school and always had a separate interest in the well-being of the environment including human, animal, and plant health and preserving the earth's beauty. On top of these interests, I had an interest in science and majored in chemistry in college. When I started at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, I maintained an interest in environmental, natural resources, and energy law; these areas were the perfect confluence of my interests and passions. Around the time I went to law school (2002 through 2005) and soon thereafter, economically feasible renewable energy/energy efficiency technologies became more relevant to society for so many reasons. I chose to pursue this area since it seemed that I could do my part as a lawyer to secure a cleaner environment for future generations, while also creating many jobs in the new 'green' energy sector."
2. What advice would you have for students who might want to work in this area?
"The first piece of advice I would give any student pursuing any area of law is get as much hands on experience as you can in order to understand what the practice area encompasses. I would also advise you to try different aspects of that area--working at a firm, in-house, federal government, state government, non-profit, etc. Each type of entity, even if you practice in the same practice area, provides a wholly different experience as an attorney. Truly find your best fit.

"I would also advise students to go out and try to meet as many practitioners as they can and talk to them about what they do. Attend law school events that are attended by attorneys; attend Colorado Bar Association continuing legal education events for the practice area in which you are interested; do your best to meet as many people as you can and get as many perspectives as you can. Lastly, keep up with the news. If you are interested in renewable energy/energy efficiency, do your best to stay on top of the technologies and the laws behind it, so you can get more out of your discussions with practitioners or other people in the field."
3. How did your Sturm College of Law education prepare you for what you are now doing?
"Renewable energy/energy efficiency law involves various other legal areas. On a daily basis, I must use my knowledge of property, administrative, real estate, labor/employment, environmental, contract, and other laws to provide sound legal advice to my client (the Department of Energy). The Sturm College of Law provided a wide array of these and other courses, and I incorporate what I learned everyday. In addition, I took many practice-related courses such as the Natural Resources Practitioner-in-Residence class that helped me understand the transition between learning the law and applying it in practice."