Briefing Room


Wright wins ABA writing award

August 15, 2013 | Students

Sean Wright ’13 won the ABA Environmental Justice Essay Competition with his essay “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: An Environmental Justice Framework to Protect Beyond Reservation Borders.” The paper will be printed in the Brooklyn Law Review in the spring of 2014.

Wright wrote the piece during an independent study course he created with Associate Dean Kathy Northern on the topic of federal Indian law.

“Dean Northern and I planned out the syllabus for the course, which focused on my interest in contemporary issues facing tribes, particularly the Pine Ridge Reservation,” Wright said. “Dean Northern’s background in environmental justice was very helpful in this regard. I also benefited immensely from taking Professor Carlarne’s Environmental Law course.  We covered environmental justice topics in the class, and she was very open to talking about my particular topic during her office hours. Without their help, my piece would never have been as successful as it was.”

 Wright also was motivated by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Plan EJ 2014 initiative, which seeks to incorporate environmental justice into the agency’s various programs. “With this in mind, I found that taking stock of the analytical reach and impact of environmental justice movement was an timely approach and one that could carry significance in addressing lingering issues facing American Indian tribes.  Also, I have to acknowledge a significant exposure to poetry (at a very young age) by my parents as the inspiration for using the Robert Frost quote as part of the title.”