I was eighteen when I came to Alaska for the first time to attend college. For me, this extraordinary part of the world immediately created a sense of humility and awe—even bewilderment. I fished in the majestic waters of Bristol Bay, studied moose and wolves in Denali National Park, and lived for many years in a little cabin outside of Fairbanks with no running water and wood heat. I learned early on that Alaska epitomizes society’s challenge of protecting the environment in the face of increasing demands for energy and natural resources.
After college, I moved to Oregon for graduate school and law school. I lived and worked on a family farm. I lived in the small concrete milk-house next to barn (still with wood heat, but an upgrade to running water). Living in Pleasant Hill, I came to understand the power of personal responsibility in developing and defining a community’s relationship with natural resources—whether it is land, air, water, or wilderness.
When I graduated from law school, I accepted an offer at a private firm in Seattle. Throughout my legal career, I litigated environmental and public interest issues, including constitutional law, governmental litigation, administrative law, land use, and public trust cases. Although I enjoyed the intellectual challenge, I knew I wouldn’t be happy with private practice and decided to commit to public interest environmental litigation full-time.
Today, I’ve come full circle. I work in Earthjustice’s Juneau office where we develop legal strategies to protect Alaska’s incomparable environment for future generations. I spend most of my time advocating on behalf of communities and organizations concerned about the risks of offshore oil and gas development in the remote, icy waters of the Arctic Ocean.
I am honored to work for Earthjustice, and humbled by the opportunity to help ensure future generations will be free to explore, respect, cherish, and defend Alaska’s wild places.
Holly received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She earned a Masters in Public Administration, with an emphasis on Natural Resources Policy from the University of Oregon. She graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2002. After graduation, she practiced for several years at K&L Gates in Seattle. She has been named a “Rising Star” by Washington Law & Politics numerous times since 2002. Holly joined Earthjustice in 2009.