In this installment of “Where are they Now,” we talked with Lizzy Zultoski, who worked with Crag from 2009 to 2011, during her third and LL.M. years at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland.
Lizzy learned about Crag at the beginning of law school when she was a volunteer and clerk for the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. After she expressed interest in working with the Crag team, Chris Winter offered her a school-year position as a clerk that she kept for two years while she focused on completing her degrees at Lewis and Clark.
The time Lizzy spent with Crag helped to teach her “how to be an efficient and powerful advocate.” During her time here, she assisted with advocacy projects and appeals related to regulatory permits for off-shore drilling in the Arctic, which allowed her to refine both her legal research and writing skills as well as build her confidence when it came to addressing complex technical and scientific issues.
Following graduation, Lizzy worked as a Legal Fellow with the Farm Sanctuary through the Animal Law Clinic at Lewis and Clark before joining the public interest law firm Smith and Lowney as an associate attorney. After joining their office in Seattle three years ago, she recently returned to work at the firm’s office in Portland, which is located in the same building as Crag. At the firm, Lizzy focuses on citizen enforcement of federal environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. Her practice also includes a variety of state and administrative matters involving land use, regulatory permits, and open government issues.
Lizzy feels fortunate to be working at her ideal job right out of law school, and is thankful to Crag for preparing her for the rigors of her current litigation position.
“I continue to be inspired by Crag’s dedication to and success at providing a voice to underserved communities in environmental disputes with corporations and governments who often have substantially greater resources. The individual members of Crag’s team are brave and the most impressive part of the organization; their energy is felt throughout the communities they serve through trees left uncut, ocean swaths undrilled, and wilderness unspoiled.”
She is passionate about wilderness preservation and wildlife protection. While she is thankful to live in a region with ample public lands available for recreation, she believes there is still much to be done to protect these lands from destructive development and activities.
Erin Elliott is a rising junior at Duke University working with the Crag Law Center for the summer as part of the DukeEngage Portland program. She is majoring in biology with a minor in environmental science and policy.