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Chicago-Kent Environmental Law Society ~ ~ ~ Board Members

President - Chris Grubb
Chris Grubb is President of the Chicago-Kent Environmental Law Society (ELS) for the 2011-2012 school-year. Chris previously served as the ELS 1L representative, Secretary, and Vice President. As Secretary, he was responsible for weekly communications in the Record and weekly email updates to ELS members. As Vice President, he worked closely with former ELS President Shannon Beebe, and a committee of other ELS members to host the inaugural Great Lakes Environmental Law Symposium. The Symposium was a tremendous success, attracting over 120 practitioners, policy professionals, academics, and students from throughout the Great Lakes region. Aside from his duties with ELS, Chris has also served as an Executive Articles Editor for the Journal of Environmental and Energy Law, and as a staff member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review.

Prior to law school, Chris developed a wealth of experience and contacts in the environmental policy field. Chris graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment with a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Behavior. Following undergrad, he worked as a Policy Associate for a small nonprofit watershed council in northern Michigan. Chris also spent over four years working for the National Wildlife Federation managing grassroots organizing for a multi-million dollar campaign focused on improving federal funding and policies to restore the health of the Great Lakes.

External Vice President - Jennifer Baader
Jennifer Baader is a 3L at Chicago-Kent participating in the Environmental and Energy Law Certificate Program. She graduated with a degree in English and Biology from the University of Illinois in 2009. Her passion for the environment began when she worked as an animal
keeper at the Brookfield Zoo and interned with the Australian Wilderness Society in Sydney.

Jen has worked at multiple levels of government including the Illinois Attorney General’s Office (Environmental Division), the U.S. EPA Region 5, and the Chicago Park District. She rounded out her legal experience as a clinical student in the Environmental Law Clinic at Chicago-Kent, a judicial extern for the Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, a federal district court judge, and as a corporate law clerk at Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis, LLC. Jen continues to focus on environmental law as a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review, where her student note centers on jurisdictional ambiguity in the Clean Water Act.

In her free time, Jen enjoys reading science fiction, traveling internationally, and attempting to cook.

Internal Vice President - Erica Yee
Erica Yee is a 4L-Evening student enjoying her last year at Chicago-Kent. Erica is the Internal Vice President of the Environmental Law Society (ELS) and has been a part of ELS since her 1L year. She has planned and participated in many ELS events, including beach clean-ups, fellowship fundraisers, Earth Week activities and ELS’s first Environmental Law Symposium. Erica is also active in the Kent community. She is a member of Kent’s Environmental Law Moot Court Team and a founding member of the Journal for Environmental and Energy Law. Erica is completing Kent’s certificate program for Environmental and Energy Law. She is truly passionate about environment law and would love to find a balance between environmental advocacy and other real world considerations.

Erica graduated in 2005 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied political science and creative writing. Prior to law school, Erica interned for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and worked in the publishing department of McMaster-Carr Supply Co.

While attending her first two years of laws school, Erica also worked full-time as a legal assistant at Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd.

During her 3L summer, Erica left her full-time position to pursue additional legal experiences. She got her first taste of environmental law at Chicago-Kent’s Environmental Law Clinic. As an extern at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, Erica then sharpened her legal writing and analytical skills by crafting creative arguments on visa appeal briefs. During her 4L summer, Erica interned at the Illinois Pollution Control Board and collaborated with Board members and their attorney assistants to deliberate and decide on environmental enforcement and rulemaking issues. Last fall, Erica drafted orders and opinions as a judicial extern for Justice Cahill at the Illinois Appellate Court. Erica is currently externing at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In her free time, Erica enjoys dining out, trying out new cooking recipes and reading books and home design blogs.

Treasurer - Ryan Fiedler

Ryan Fiedler is a 2L at Chicago-Kent. Prior to law school Ryan worked as a mortgage banker for PNC Financial Services where he advised clients on real estate market and policy changes and developed an interest in sustainable structures and environmental land use.

Last summer, Ryan worked as a summer associate for Shefsky & Froelich where he researched memoranda on a variety of real estate matters including "reverse-FOIA" in a Chicago tax abatement proceeding, a restaurant operation license as property for third-party s. 1983 interference, and ILSFDA condominium delivery exemptions and illusory provisions.

Currently, Ryan works as a judicial extern for Honorable Ronald Bartkowicz, in Cook County Circuit Court's Commercial Calendar and as a law clerk in the Law Offices of Jonathon Merel, P.C.

In the summer of 2012, Ryan will work as a summer associate with JPMorgan Chase's Corporate Compliance Team.

Secretary - Ashley Brody
Ashley Brody is currently a 2L at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she is a member of the Chicago-Kent Moot Court Honors Society. This semester, Ashley works at the Environmental Law Clinic at Chicago-Kent and serves as a judicial extern for Justice Robert Gordon, a state appellate judge for the Illinois Court of Appeals. Ashley graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in legal studies and a certificate in Environmental Studies. At Wisconsin, Ashley helped establish an environmental group, Rethink Wisconsin, which implemented recycling programs and helped raise awareness for reducing waste at school. She also interned with Wisconsin State Representative Spencer Black, a leader in Wisconsin’s Conservation efforts, where she composed memos, bill co-sponsorship letters and press releases for his office.

It was the many summers spent outdoors at Camp Chi and her undergraduate in Madison that fostered her passion in conserving the environment.

Prior to law school, Ashley interned for two summers for the EPA Region 5's Deputy Regional Counsel. She also spent a summer interning at the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago, focusing on environmental policy issues in Illinois and the Great Lakes Region. As the Secretary for the Environmental Law Society at Chicago-Kent, Ashley enjoys encouraging other students to get involved in environmental projects in the Chicago community. In her free time, Ashley enjoys playing and watching sports, trying new foods, and traveling. 

Webmaster - Toral Patel
Toral Patel is a 3L at Chicago-Kent College of Law and is pursuing a certificate in Environmental and Energy Law as well as in Public Interest Law. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in Neuroscience and a minor in Law and Society. While at Kent, Toral previously served as the ELS Fundraising Chair, helping to raise money for annual fellowships awarded to select ELS members. She has also helped plan and coordinate many ELS events, including Earth Week activities and the first Environmental Law Symposium.

Prior to coming to law school, Toral spent two summers working for the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. During her time at Kent, she spent two semesters as a policy intern for Openlands, a nonprofit environmental organization. Currently she is a clinical student for the Environmental Law Clinic at Chicago-Kent for the third semester, for which she was named a Baum Fellow for her public interest work, and is an extern at the U.S. EPA Office of Regional Counsel, Region 5.

Outside of ELS, Toral serves as an Executive Articles Editor for the Journal of Environmental and Energy Law and also volunteers weekly as a LiveHelp Operator for Illinois Legal Aid Online.

Fundraising Chair - Emily Chase


Alumni Chair - Josh Horwitz
Josh Horwitz is currently a 2L at Chicago-Kent and a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review and the Journal of Environmental and Energy Law. He is currently completing the PEEL environmental and energy law certificate at Kent and intends to work in that field. Josh's predominant focus in environmental law is climate change and the energy grid. 

Josh is committed to finding practical energy solutions to better incorporate the next generation of renewable power into the grid without jeopardizing electric reliability or the low cost of power. He is currently writing a student note on the topic for the Kent Law Review, which addresses how the legal framework of our energy markets can better accommodate the upcoming changes to the grid such as renewable energy and EPA regulations.

Josh has interned with the EPA Region 5, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, and the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, and is currently working with the National Resources Defense Council. He is very excited to be a part the Chicago-Kent Environmental Law Society, and looks forward to working with them on more great events during the rest of his time at Kent.

Sustainability Coordinator - Patrick Abbott
Patrick is excited to be ELS’s Sustainability Coordinator in his 2L year. A nature and science lover his whole life, he is looking forward to making the most out of his time in the urban jungle of Chicago’s West Loop.

Patrick studied Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which exposed him to ecology, plant biology, geology, and chemistry, among other subjects useful in environmental science. After graduating in 2007, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a while before packing his bags to teach English as a second language in Seoul, South Korea. For a year and a half, he learned a great deal about teaching a foreign language to a room full of screaming kindergarteners (hopefully preparing him for introducing some science-heavy legislation to a room full of politicians).

As Sustainability Coordinator for ELS, Patrick hopes we can work together with the administration, the building management, and student organizations to create a long-term plan for making 565 W Adams a little greener. While ecological initiatives are all too often made to be political, Patrick will work to show that an ecologically healthy institution is an economically healthy institution, and all that most green initiatives require is a little common sense and a little extra effort.

Advertising Chair - Kathryn Wheeler
Katie Wheeler is a 2L student at Chicago-Kent where she is the advertising chair for the Environmental Law Society as well as participating in the Environmental and Energy Law Certificate program.

Katie graduated from the College of Charleston in May 2010 with a B.S. in Marine Biology. Before attending Chicago-Kent, she interned with Schmutz & Schmutz, P.A. in Charleston S.C. Katie also worked this past summer as an intern with Openlands in Chicago, IL.

Currently, Katie is working for the Environmental Law Clinic at Chicago-Kent. In her free time, Katie enjoys writing her healthy living blog and training for her upcoming half-marathon.

Interschool Liaison


1L Representative - Hanan Erikat
Hanan Erikat is a 1L at Chicago-Kent. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley in English Literature and taught for two years before pursuing her law degree.  She plans on completing the Environmental & Energy Law certificate at Kent. Her interests include alternative energy and sustainability. In her free time, she likes to cook, run and go to record stores.

1L Representative - Kate Kosartes
Kate Kosartes is a 1L student at Chicago-Kent where she is a 1L representative for the Environmental Law Society. Kate graduated from the The University of Iowa with a B.A. in Political Science and Geoscience in May 2011. While at The University of Iowa Kate had the opportunity to study geology in China, and sustainability in Italy. She also participated in the Mock Trial team and is interested in pursing a career in litigation, hopefully coupled with her passion to protect the environment.