Updated: Oct. 17, 2020

Environmental & Land Use Law Section

The Environmental and Land Use Law Section helps members keep up with this rapidly developing area of law. The section provides a variety of forums through which members can meet, exchange ideas, and learn from others who practice in the field. The section also sponsors law student internships and pursues a number of other community service projects.

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New! Advice for Law Students

The Environmental and Land Use Law Section Executive Committee has put together a collection of advice for law students. We hope you find this compilation of reflections and advice to be helpful as you navigate through the unique challenges of this unprecedented moment in history. 


Get Involved!

Are you interested in speaking at a CLE seminar or in helping to organize a CLE? The section is always looking for ideas, speakers, and volunteers. To propose topics and speakers for our mini-CLEs, please contact Anthony Jones. At minimum, we organize a mini-CLE held each December that traditionally focuses on ethics issues. To propose topics, speakers, or co-chairs for next year’s Midyear Seminar, please contact Elizabeth Tellessen. Co-chairs are selected in the fall of each year, and typically begin planning the next year’s Midyear Seminar towards the end of each current year.

The Benefits of Membership

The ELUL Newsletter

Published three times a year, the Newsletter is a free resource that provides updates and in-depth articles on cases, draft rules, new statutes, and other topics relevant to environmental and land use law practitioners. Member surveys and comments demonstrate that the newsletter is a valuable tool for many practitioners. A host of talented and dedicated lawyers donate their time to make this publication the great success it is. We are building an online Newsletter archive to bring you access to older newsletters. Your dues make this possible.

Spring 2017  │ Summer 2016  │  Spring 2016

November 2015  │  August 2015  │  February 2015

Archived issues are available to section members upon request. To request an issue, please email sections@wsba.org.

Midyear Meeting

Every year, the Section hosts a meeting that features a two-day CLE in a resort area in the state. The CLE program is carefully vetted through the Executive Committee to ensure that top-quality presentations focus on timely topics of current utility and interest to environmental and land use law practitioners. As most of us have practices that delve into the realms of both land use and environmental law, the CLE allows us to get up to date on both areas of the law. Again, opportunities abound to network in a relaxed atmosphere ideal for forging new friendships and working relationships. We work hard to keep the cost as low as possible for our members and provide scholarships to qualified individuals. Your dues make this possible.

Free Mini-CLEs

The Section provides its members, free of charge, an hour-long CLE presentation in the fall, winter, and spring. Following each CLE, we have a no-host reception to allow you to meet other members of the Section to network and sample some tasty hors d'oeuvres. Your dues make this possible. 

Sponsoring Law School Students in Internships

The Section helps sponsor internships in the fields of land use and environmental law to deserving law students at the three law schools in Washington. The Executive Committee believes it is important for the Section to help students find their way into practice areas that are highly specialized and in which it is sometimes difficult to find relevant experience. We hope that by helping law students in internships, we will help grow the highly skilled lawyers of the future. Your dues make this possible.

Special Projects

Giving back to the community is important. the Executive Committee in the past several years has developed a high school curriculum for Law Day specifically geared toward environmental and land use law, undertaken a project on sustainability of law office practices, and hosted numerous free brown bags on topics of interest such as I-297 and the Endangered Species Act. We have also sponsored Earth Day and Habitat for Humanity Work Days. Your dues make this possible.

Scholarship Information

The WSBA Environmental and Land Use Law (ELUL) Section solicits donations from law firms and section members to fund scholarships for its midyear meeting and conference held each spring. Scholarships serve an educational and charitable purpose by helping attorneys and law students attend the midyear conference and CLE who would not otherwise be able to attend.

Please Donate to the 2020 Scholarship Fund

To contribute to the 2020 ELUL Section Scholarship Fund, please donate online or contact the Washington State Bar Foundation. Donations are fully tax-deductible.

Executive Committee 

ChairPat Spurgin

Chair-ElectKyler Danielson

Secretary: to be appointed

Treasurer: to be appointed

Immediate Past ChairKelly Wood 

Board of Governors Liaison*: TBD

Young Lawyer Liaison: Gabrielle Gurian (2020-2022)

Website, Communications, and Newsletter Editorial Board Liaisons: Donya Burns & Kyler Danielson

Mini-CLE Planning:  to be appointed

Newsletter Editors*: Clifford Kato & Andy King

At-Large Members
Donya Burns (2018-2021)
Molly Barker (2019-2022)
Meghan Gavin (2019-2022)
Martha Wehling (2019-2022)
Albert Chang (2020-2023)
Robie Russell (2020-2023)

*Nonvoting member

The WSBA ELUL Executive Committee generally conducts meetings on the third Wednesday of each month, from 3-4 p.m. You may attend by phone by calling 866-577-9294 and using the passcode 5016511#. Please contact committee member for specific details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.

For more information about the Executive Committee members, check out their biographies

Join Our List Serve

To join the section list serve or for general section questions, please send your email address and bar number to sections@wsba.org. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact Section Chair Kelly Wood.