Announcing the 2020 Legal Scholarship Winner
We’d like to say thank you to all those who took the time to submit applications for our legal scholarship. After carefully reviewing all of them, we are pleased to announce the winner of our 2020 scholarship.
Congratulations! Glenn graduated from Boston University, Summa Cum Laude, majoring in International Relations and minoring in Political Science. He’s now attending New York University School of Law with an interest in environmental and energy law.
Glenn tells more of his story in his scholarship essay, which he has agreed to have published below. We invite you to read it.
“On paper, I am a suburban guy from the Northeast, but this role is too confining for me. As a kid, weekends were spent listening to my grandmother tell tales of 1950s Toronto. Summers were spent in the cornfields of Iowa with my extended family. For college, I moved to Boston to experience a city rich with history. Since then, I have added Stevensville, Michigan and Dresden, Germany to the list of places I have called home.
Growing up in Buffalo, I witnessed an uneven economic revival that benefited only those that fit a certain mold. My time in the Midwest drove home the importance of crossing the political aisle. In Dresden, I was in the epicenter of the social friction that has been rocking Germany. Empathetic conversations with students from Syria opened my eyes to the heavy emotional toll that being stripped to the identity of “refugee” can have on someone. My experience at Boston University reinforced the value of intellectual diversity, and due to my interdisciplinary education, my fear that specializing in one area comes at the cost of ignorance of other fields was never realized.
The widespread geographical distribution of each place I have called home has given me a myriad of diverse perspectives that I can draw upon when confronting political, economic, and social issues in my chosen area: environmental and energy law. Each of these distinctive communities has highlighted the importance of engaging with the local population to fully understand the unique complexities of their situation and their willingness to accept change. My exposure to a variety of environmental problems in these areas, such as fluctuating lake levels and flooding in the Great Lakes Basin, solidified my interest in environmental and energy law. Issues stemming from climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation often disproportionally impact lower-income and minority segments of our population. It is next to impossible to address the legal and policy questions that arise out of humanity’s use, and oftentimes abuse, of the environment without maintaining a strong sense of empathy for at-risk individuals, endangered species, and those that rely on the industry whose practices are being scrutinized.
Specifically, I envision myself working to improve the state of energy governance in the United States. We lack a coordinated and comprehensive framework that reduces the overall environmental impact of these systems. Currently, environmental consequences are primarily considered during the siting process of new energy projects, forcing local and regional ecosystems to adapt after a cost-benefit analysis on the project’s potential impact is performed. Rather than working aggressively to minimize the environmental disruptiveness of these technologies from their inception, we address the majority of these issues at a stage where few substantive adaptations can be performed. While functional, this cost-benefit approach reduces the value of the environment by not properly considering monetary damages likely to result, such as a reduction in tourism or property values due to an increase in pollution, as well as benefits that are nearly impossible to monetize like personal enjoyment resulting from the use of pristine natural spaces. Furthermore, by using a discount factor that limits the future outlook on how harmful our current actions are, these analyses prevent us from doing justice for future generations. Advocating for and eventually shaping an updated legal framework regulating and incentivizing more environmentally friendly developments in this area is how I intend to use my Juris Doctor. Although a cost-benefit analysis will still have a place within this framework, considering the more abstract value of the environment must be incorporated as well. For this reason, I feel compelled to pursue a legal career where I can meaningfully impact this field while also practicing in a manner that emphasizes empathy and humanity.”
– by Glenn Korman