I grew up in Kansas City mainly oblivious to environmental issues, but my family instilled in me a strong sense of civic engagement. My parents were ardent supporters of civil rights and my father counted labor unions among his clients. During my first semester of college, I discovered environmental issues when I read An Inquiry into the Human Prospect by Robert Heilbroner in an intro Sociology class. Luckily, my college had a burgeoning environmental studies program that allowed me to explore the topic. I became interested in the intersection between environmental and social justice issues.
Interning at the National Wildlife Federation after college I read a striking New York Times piece on Greenpeace going straight to the source of ecological problems. Within two months, I was working for Greenpeace’s Toxics Campaign in Washington, D.C. I discovered the vast West when Greenpeace moved me to Seattle. There, I had the unique opportunity to explore Northwest waterways in boats as I organized protests around pollution from pulp and paper mills. Puget Sound and its surrounding mountains gave the “environment” a new meaning. I came to understand why people fight to preserve nature.
I attended law school hoping to become an environmental lawyer. I feel lucky to have achieved my goal. I love working at Earthjustice because I can focus on energy and climate issues that greatly concern me and know that the organization is tackling the full breadth of environmental issues that confront all of us. In addition to litigation, my practice includes working in the California Public Utilities Commission to move California towards energy future centered around renewables and away from fossil fuels.
Although I am still a Midwestern at heart and proud to be from Missouri, I have embraced California as my home, enjoying the great urban and natural amenities of San Francisco as well as access to many of the natural places that Earthjustice fought to preserve.
Will Rostov received his B.A. from Oberlin College, and his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Will was a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.
Prior to Earthjustice, Will also worked at a boutique litigation firm that specialized in antitrust and class actions, Communities for Better Environment and the Center for Food Safety.
Will came to Earthjustice in 2008 and focuses on energy and climate issues. He is on the board of directors of the Eviction Defense Collaborative and the Global Community Monitor.