Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Marisa Blackshire '06 Earns ABA's Distinguished Environmental Advocates Award February 20, 2013
Marisa Blackshire '06 Earns ABA's Distinguished Environmental Advocates Award

Marisa Blackshire '06, a senior associate with Alston & Bird in Los Angeles, is among the 12 young lawyers from across the country being honored by the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources with the 2013 Distinguished Environmental Advocates Rising Stars Award. The award, which recognizes the contributions of lawyers to the development of law, policy and programs in the areas of energy and the environment, will be presented on March 22 during the Section's 42nd Spring Conference in Salt Lake City.

"This award is particularly special to me because it not only recognizes my environmental/land use practice, which I enjoy immensely and take a great deal of pride in, but also my commitment to my community," Blackshire said. "In addition to my practice, I have a passion and commitment to at-risk youth, and I'm tremendously grateful that my employer and the Section of Environment, Energy and Resources are supportive of, and see the value in that aspect of my life as well!"

Blackshire focuses her practice on environmental permitting, regulatory compliance and litigation. She assists clients with issues related to environmental permits, environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act, air compliance, water quality, global climate change, chemical regulations, pesticides, endangered and threatened species, Proposition 65 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. She has experience negotiating with regulatory agencies, coordinating with engineers and environmental consultants and conducting administrative hearings, and has been successful in obtaining regulatory amendments. Blackshire was recently accepted to the inaugural class of the Southern California Leadership Network's Fellowship, California Connections. Her pro bono legal and community involvement includes handling adoptions for Public Counsel and matters for the Disability Rights Legal Center, mentoring students in the South Central Scholars program, and serving on the Junior Board for the After-School All-Stars of Los Angeles.

Environmental Advocates Award recipients must hold a J.D. degree, be under the age of 36 or in practice fewer than five years, and be leaders whose contributions to NGOs, communities, neighborhoods, the government, academia, and the practice of law are significant and belie their years and experience. Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, the Section's chair, said, "There are many programs to recognize legal achievement later in an attorney's career. We crafted this program to emphasize the importance of recognizing individuals in our field of practice who are standing out early on by virtue of their ideas, commitment and professionalism."

In addition to Blackshire, this year's honorees include graduates of Georgetown, Harvard, Pace University, Seattle University, Southern Methodist University, SUNY Buffalo, UC Berkeley, University of Miami, Vermont Law School and Yale. They represent major law firms and agencies around the country, including the Environmental Law Institute, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of General Counsel.