Updated: April 16, 2021

Environmental & Land Use Law Section

The Environmental and Land Use Law (ELUL) 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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Shape Your Section for the Future: Apply Today to Become a Section Leader

Application Deadline is May 12, 2021

The following Section Executive Committee positions are open for applications:

  • Chair-elect: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2021, and ending Sept. 30, 2022.
  • At-Large Member (two positions open): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2021, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.

To learn more about roles and expectations for serving on the Section Executive Committee, review a volunteer position description. This volunteer position description provides an overview of section executive committee positions.

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be a current Section member and should be eligible to vote in accordance with the Section’s bylaws.

Application Process: Click here to complete the online application for open executive committee positions. The Section has requested that each applicant submit a statement of interest with your application. This document can be uploaded with your online application (PDF format only). Please be advised that application materials may be posted on this website for public viewing.

Nomination Process: The nominating committee shall make and report nominations at the annual meeting of the Section for the office of the chair-elect and any open at-large positions to succeed those whose terms will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

Alternate Nomination Process: Other nominations may be made from the floor at the annual meeting. Candidates accepting a nomination from the floor of the annual meeting are required provide candidate statements to the Bar within three business days from the close of the midyear conference.

Elections Process: All voting members of the Section will receive an electronic ballot sent to their email in June 2021. Visit this webpage in early June for election updates and voting instructions.

Questions? 
For more information about the Section, its executive committee roles, and elections process, please review the Section’s bylaws. You may also contact any member of the current Section Executive Committee or email sections@wsba.org.


April 22, 2021 – Spring Networking Event!

Earth Day Celebration and Law School Networking Event

This year’s annual spring networking event with Washington law students interested in pursuing careers in environmental, land use, and civil rights law is scheduled from 5:30 - 7:00 pm on April 22, 2021: Earth Day!!

We know how much the students appreciate the opportunity to meet and mingle with practicing attorneys, all of whom have extraordinary experience and wisdom to share. We hope you will join us and will forward this invite on to any friends or colleagues you think would be available/interested in attending!

Although we cannot meet in person this year, we have a great evening planned. This year, ELUL is co-hosting with WSBA’s Civil Rights Law Section to organize a joint event with an environmental justice focus. To start, three to four attorneys will give brief remarks at the outset of the event about their work in the field of environmental justice. Afterward, we will open up breakout rooms for students to learn and mingle with practicing attorneys. Additionally, to counteract the widespread Zoom fatigue that has set in over the past year, we will hold a raffle at the beginning and end of the event (prizes = environmental-justice-focused books and an REI gift card, and raffle entry = your registration + attendance).

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 22, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Please register for the event at this link.

On the day of the event, you may join the Zoom call with this link.
Meeting ID: 394 469 3478
Passcode: elul


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 an ELUL Executive Committee member.  To propose topics, speakers, or co-chairs for the ELUL's Annual Midyear Seminar, please contact Kyler Danielson. Co-chairs are selected in the fall of each year, and typically begin planning the next year’s Midyear Seminar toward the end of each current year.


The Benefits of Membership

The ELUL Blog

In 2020, ELUL shifted from a newsletter format to publication of articles on a blog. The blog 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. A host of talented and dedicated lawyers donate their time to make this publication the great success it is.

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 Seminar

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.

Mini-CLEs

The Section provides its members with low-cost mini-CLEs to coincide with significant cases and topics relevant to environmental and land use practitioners. Please watch social media, the ELUL list serve, and this website for upcoming mini-CLEs, and please contact Martha Wehling to propose topics or speakers. 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 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 Scholarship Fund

To contribute to the 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: Molly Barker

Treasurer: Meghan Gavin

Immediate Past ChairKelly Wood 

Board of Governors Liaison*: Dan Clark

Young Lawyer Liaison: Gabrielle Gurian (2020-2022)

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

Mini-CLE Planning: Martha Wehling

Blog 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 and Follow Us on Social Media

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 Patrick Spurgin. The ELUL Section is on Facebook and LinkedIn; please follow us to receive the most recent updates.