Dara Illowsky

Dara Illowsky

Summer Associate - 2021

Name: Dara Illowsky
Education/Professional Background: J.D. and certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law expected from Lewis & Clark Law 2022; B.S. Environmental Science, Brown University 2014; worked in environmental education, advocacy, and law between undergrad and law school
Hometown: Ossining, NY
What brought you to Crag?: I came to law school for one purpose: to pursue a career in public interest environmental law, advocating for a stable, safe, and healthy environment for all living creatures and future generations. Between my first job out of undergrad as a conservation science intern at the Center for Biological Diversity in the Bay Area, and my last job prior to law school as a legal assistant at the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program in Boulder, I fell in love with the way environmental law allowed me to vigorously advocate for environmental causes by combining my scientific background with substantive and detailed understanding of law, policy, and activism. My 1L year I volunteered at Wild Shots and was blown away by what a special and treasured place Crag clearly occupied in the Pacific Northwest environmental community. As I looked further into Crag’s work, I was really impressed by the staff’s dedication to not just their clients and preserving resilient ecosystems in this region, but to building a more equitable and just society. This was clearly an organization and community where I could find the education, support, and inspiration to become the best environmental advocate and attorney I could be, and so I was thrilled to accept a position as a summer associate!
What are your environmental/legal interests?: I am pursuing a career in public interest environmental law. Within that, I am most interested in public lands, wildlife, and Indigenous issues.
What will your work focus on while at Crag?: I am working primarily with Staff Attorney Oliver Stiefel on protecting our National Forests.
Favorite book: I always find this question so hard to answer! But in the last few years the books that have affected me most deeply are “Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado and “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong
Favorite quote: “The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.”– Sophie Scholl