Environmental attorney James Brusslan was featured in the February 2012 edition of the ABA’s Student Lawyer “Hot Profiles.”
In the profile, Brusslan discusses the evolution of environmentalism over the last 30 years and, subsequently, his personal evolution as an environmental lawyer.
The article explains:
Environmental law is a broad practice area, encompassing issues related to air, water, and land. The focus of Brusslan’s career has been on getting companies and government entities to clean up pollution. For example, he represented residents of an unincorporated area of DuPage County, Illinois, in a well-water contamination case, getting damages from some of the 10 companies identified as polluters, and working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to bring Lake Michigan water to the area. He represented a developer of single-family homes in an effort to clean up a contaminated stretch of the Chicago River. Brusslan has also been involved in cases involving the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), a 1986 law that requires companies to disclose their use, storage, and transfer of certain chemicals. One of his cases involved EPCRA’s right to sue provision and was decided by the US Supreme Court in 1996—The Steel Company v. Citizens for a Better Environment.
To law students and young practitioners, Brusslan offers the following advice: “First and foremost, be the very best lawyer that they can be, whether it means that for the first three years they’re working at a large law firm just learning how to write a brief, or a contract.” Even if your ultimate goal is to practice in the public interest sector, a stint working at a private firm or even at a place like a prosecuting attorney’s office handling criminal matters will offer excellent training, Brusslan says.
Read full article here, reprinted with permission from the American Bar Association.