Updated: April 24, 2019

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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Executive Committee Elections Begin in May

For information about the Section and its Executive Committee roles, please review the Section’s bylaws. The positions that are open for the upcoming election are as follows:

  • Chair-elect: one-year position, beginning Oct. 1, 2019, and ending Sept. 30, 2020. The Chair-Elect should have experience as an At-Large Member or Officer of the Executive Committee of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section. The Nominating Committee will give priority to current or former Executive Committee members.
  • At-Large Member (three open positions): three-year position, beginning Oct. 1, 2019, and ending Sept. 30, 2022.

Review the ELUL Volunteer Position Descriptions and learn more about serving on a section executive committee. This document provides a general overview of section executive committee officer positions and may differ from some sections.

Alternative Nomination Process 

Per section bylaws, the Nominating Committee will accept in-person nominations at the Annual Meeting on May 3, 2019, during the Midyear Conference.

Elections will be conducted via SurveyMonkey. To ensure you receive a ballot, please click here and/or adjust your spam filters/firewalls to ensure your email address will receive the ballot.


Feel free to contact any member of the current Section Executive Committee or email sections@wsba.org.

Join Us! Professional and Law Student Mixer

Come meet and mingle with Seattle University and University of Washington law students interested in environmental and land use legal careers, as well as attorneys practicing in the field.

When: Tuesday, April 23, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Where: Optimism Brewing in Capitol Hill, 1158 Broadway, Seattle

For more information, check out the event flyer or visit the Facebook event.

Appetizers and a beverage will be complimentary, followed by a cash bar. Thanks to our co-sponsors KCBA Environmental and Land Use Section, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Winston & Cashatt, Seattle University Environmental Law Society, and the University of Washington Environmental Law Society. No WSBA or ABA funds will be used to purchase alcohol.

Law Student Fellowship

The WSBA Section of Environmental and Land Use Law (ELUL) supports law students by offering three $1,000 fellowship awards to law students participating in unpaid summer internships in the areas of environmental or land use law in Washington State. This fellowship is open to all law students (current 1Ls, 2Ls, and non-graduating 3Ls) in good standing with his/her respective law school and a demonstrated commitment to the areas of environmental or land use law in Washington State.

Applications are due April 26, 2019.

Get more information and apply here.

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 Elizabeth Black. 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 2018 Scholarship Fund

To contribute to the 2018 ELUL Section Scholarship Fund, please donate online or contact the Washington State Bar Foundation. Donations are fully tax-deductible.

Executive Committee

ChairElizabeth Tellessen

Chair-ElectKelly Wood

SecretaryElizabeth Black

TreasurerPat Spurgin

Immediate Past ChairKristie Elliott

Board of Governors Liaison: Dan Clark*

Young Lawyer LiaisonCaroline Cress

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

Mini-CLE Planning/Newsletter Editorial Board Liaison: Anthony Jones

Newsletter Editors: Clifford Kato* & Andy King*

At-Large Members
Le Anne Bremer (2019)
Pat Spurgin (2019)
Kelly Wood (2019)
Anthony Jones (2020)
Donya Burns (2021)
Kyler Danielson (2021)

*Non-voting 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.

Join Our List Serve

To join the section list serve and 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, Elizabeth Tellessen.