Friday, November 12, 2010

Kate Iverson, DU JD Graduate and Assistant General Counsel at Denver's RTD, Discusses "Fastracks" Light Rail Project During Speakers Series

Kate Iverson, Associate General Counsel for the Regional Transportation District in Denver, spoke recently to University of Denver Sturm College of Law students about Fastracks, the RTD's major light rail project that is currently being built.

Ms. Iverson, a 2006 JD graduate from the College of Law, described Fastracks as a multi-billion dollar comprehensive transit expansion plan to build 122 miles of new commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit, and the stations and parking spaces needed to support the system. She said that the West Corridor Light Rail project would be finished in 2013, Union Station in 2015, and the East Corridor Rail and Gold Line Rail in 2016.

She explained the unique nature of the Eagle P3 Project, which will involve the 22.8 mile East Corridor to Denver International Airport as well as the 11.2 mile Gold Line commuter rail to Arvada and Wheat Ridge and a starter segment to south Westminster on the Northwest Rail commuter rail corridor. The interesting aspect of the project is that it consists of a public/private partnership that will build out this portion of Fastracks. "It's a design, build, finance, operate, and maintain project," she said.

Among her responsibilities include meeting and negotiating with local governments to discuss what work will be done in a particular jurisdiction, who will pay for it, and who will maintain it. She is also centrally involved in issues related to utilities and trails that happen to intersect with Fastracks. She also negotiates with railroads to obtain Fastracks' access to railroad rights of way.
Don C. Smith, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENRL) program, said, "The work that Kate Iverson is doing at Fastracks is a key element in what will ultimately be one of the largest light rail networks in the American west. Having her speak at the College of Law benefits students desiring to learn more about this vast undertaking and provides an inside view of what a large city transport development attorney does. I am sure Kate will be back over the next few years to share the progress on this project, which has the potential of changing transport patterns all across the Denver metropolitan area."

Ms. Iverson's presentation, which was part of the ENRL Speakers Series, was co-sponsored by the Land Use Law Society.

For a map of the Fastracks project, please click here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

DU Environmental and Natural Resources Externships: "Some of the Best Opportunities in the Nation," Professor Ann Vessels Says

Students studying environmental and natural resources issues at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law were advised recently to take advantage of the law school's many excellent externship opportunities. Students attending an Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENRL) advising session heard Professors Fred Cheever, Rock Pring, and Ann Vessels, director of the College of Law Legal Externship Program, extol the benefits of undertaking one or more externships during law school.

Professor Vessels said, "We have some of the best environmental and natural resources externships in the country here at the Sturm College of Law. The Denver area specifically, and Colorado more generally, are excellent locations for the types of externships you are looking for." She noted that externship opportunities range from working for federal and state agencies, to non-profits and think-tanks, to private firms. Moreover, there is often a link between a student's externship experiences and their ability to get a job after graduation, Professor Vessels said.

Professor Pring noted that, "Externships are a great way to learn as well as meet key individuals. It also allows you to list the externships on your resume, which can be very impressive to prospective employers. I highly recommend [doing externships]."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nino Coppero, Environmental and Natural Resources LLM Student, Elected to Student Bar Association Senate

We would like to congratulate LLM student Nino Coppero for his election to the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Student Bar Association (SBA) Senate.

Nino comes to our program from Peru where he graduated with honors from the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) with a degree in Law. Nino is currently on leave from his job at one of Peru’s top natural resources and environmental law firms, Rodrigo, Elias & Medrano.

Luis Carlos Rodrigo, one of the firm’s partners and Sturm College of Law Adjunct Professor, had this to say about Nino: “ I can say that Nino is currently one of our best lawyers and collaborators specialized in mining and environmental law.”

We are extremely proud of Nino and his accomplishments while at the University of Denver LLM program. Enhorabuena, Nino!

Lucy Daberkow
Assistant Director
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hiring News: Alison Eastley, DU JD Graduate and December LLM Graduate, Will Begin Work in January as Water and Land Use Attorney for Holland and Hart

Alison Eastley, a recent University of Denver Sturm College of Law JD graduate who will also earn an LLM in December from College of Law's Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENRL) program, has been hired by one of the west's top law firms Holland & Hart.

While enrolled in the ENRL program, Ms. Eastley interned with the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Both internships gave her the opportunity "to learn from great minds and influential professionals in Colorado's environmental fields," she said.

Between her internships and LLM classes, Ms. Eastley gained practical experience and deepened her understanding of water law and land use.

Ms. Eastley said that she is "thrilled to have found a job in my field where I will be working as a water law and land use attorney with Holland & Hart beginning in January 2011."