Earthjustice today announced that The Rick Sutherland Fellow for 2003 is Adrienne Bloch, an attorney with Communities for a Better Environment in Oakland, California. The fellowship is awarded each year to assist young lawyers, recently out of law school, who want to work in public-interest positions but cannot afford to do so because of law school debt and general financial hardship.
The fellowship was created to honor the memory of Rick Sutherland, the third executive director of Earthjustice, who was committed to bringing into the legal profession — especially the environmental bar — people from all walks of life, all ethnic groups, all nationalities. The award carries a cash stipend of up to $12,000 a year for two years. It is financed in part by contributions from Earthjustice staff members.
Adrienne Bloch is a textbook winner. She grew up on Chicago’s south side and in New York City, attended Oberlin College, and traveled to Nepal, India, and Tibet with the Experiment in International Living. She worked with homeless and street involved youth and did AIDS outreach and education in Seattle, supervised and instructed low-income inner-city youth in constructing trails in an old-growth forest in Washington state, and did AIDS legal advocacy for low-income clients in San Francisco.
She then attended law school at Hastings, graduating in May 2001 with a concentration in international law, derived in part from a semester at the University of London’s School of Asian and African Studies (SOAS). She now works at CBE, pursuing cases involving illegal discharges from a Chevron refinery into San Francisco Bay, a plan by developers to build a new business park on the bay shore in Richmond on land the state is willing to purchase for a park, and dozens of other matters. Her eventual goal is to work in international law, in part to enforce the many good environmental treaties that have been ratified (often without much help, even outright resistance, from the US) but not sufficiently enforced.
“Earthjustice and the Sutherland Fellowship Fund are honored to help Ms. Bloch devote her considerable talents and energies to the fight for environmental justice,” commented Elizabeth Sutherland, chair of the fellowship committee.