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Julia Wyman is Director of the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law/Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program. Before her appointment as Director, Ms. Wyman served as the staff attorney for the Marine Affairs Institute for four years. Prior to joining the Marine Affairs...



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RWU Law Grads Making Waves in Marine Affairs

Posted by Julia Wyman on 04/05/2016 at 12:06 PM

Bristol Harbor, Rhode IslandMAI Graduate Jobs!

When I meet with prospective students interested in marine affairs, they often ask me what kind of jobs our graduates have.  It’s a great question and one that I love answering.  Our graduates can be found all over the country working in diverse marine affairs jobs.

Some of our graduates leave RWU Law to work at top-ranked admiralty and maritime focused law firms.  Two graduates of the class of 2015 are part of that group.  Patrick O’Connor can be found at Hill, Betts, & Nash, LLP in New York, New York.  During his time at RWU Law, Patrick was a legal intern at the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor and a legal extern at Dominica Maritime Registry, Inc.  Patrick also participated in the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition while at RWU Law.  His teammate for the admiralty moot court, Casey O’Brien, can also be found in New York City these days.  Casey just started working at Hill Rivkins, LLP.  In addition to participating in the moot court competition, Casey served as a Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellow at RWU, working with Save the Bay to analyze coastal development in Rhode Island.  Casey also volunteered at Clean Water Action in Providence, and interned at the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office and Moran Shipping Agencies, Inc. (with alum Gavin Black ’10), and received the Marine Affairs Institute Achievement Award.  At Hill Rivkins, Casey joins fellow RWU graduate Brian Eisenhower ’09.  

A little further from campus, Nicholas Paine ’12 is making a name for himself in admiralty and maritime law in Houston, Texas.  Nick is an Associate Attorney at the firm Schouest Bamdas Soshea and BenMaier, P.L.L.C.  During his time at RWU Law, Nick was a Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellow.  He did in-depth research for our Marine Affairs Institute Symposium on the Deepwater Horizon Blowout.  Now he lives and works in the Gulf!

A little closer to home, our former graduates are becoming great leaders in the State of Rhode Island.  Marisa Desautel, a 2006 joint degree graduate, opened her own environmental law firm in Providence, the Law Office of Marisa Desautel, LLC, last year.  Prior to starting her firm, Marisa served as Senior Legal Counsel for Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RODEM) for eight years.  This summer Marisa will be hosting RWU Law students in her firm as interns. 

Also in the Ocean State, Alicia Eichinger is settling into her job as Executive Director for the Salt Ponds Coalition. Alicia, another joint degree graduate, did pro bono work in law school for RIDEM, Save the Bay, and the Nature Conservancy. Alicia came back to the law school earlier this year to speak to students about her path from RWU to the Salt Ponds Coalition. 

No inquiry to the MAI about job prospects after graduation would be complete without a (virtual) trip down to DC.  Many of our graduates are interested in focusing their careers on policy, and there is no better place than our nation’s capital to do that. 

Joint degree graduate Jackie Rolleri ’11, can now be found as an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of General Counsel, Oceans and Coasts Section, of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Prior to serving in the Office of General Counsel, Jackie was a Coastal Management Specialist for NOAA, focusing on federal consistency.  After RWU Law, Jackie served as a Presidential Management Fellow for NOAA.  If you are a prospective student interested in working with Jackie, I have good news!  RWU Law has a summer internship placement with NOAA’s Office of General Counsel, Ocean and Coasts Section (an internship that Jackie held as a student at RWU Law).  In addition to the other perks of her job, Jackie now gets to give the next generation of RWU Law students the opportunities she had while at RWU. 

Also making a great name for herself in DC is Sarah Lim. Sarah is the Chief Counsel for the House Natural Resources Committee, Democratic Staff.  After graduating from RWU Law, Sarah served as a John D. Knauss Legislative Fellow for the House Natural Resources Committee.  Sarah stayed working for the Committee after her fellowship ended, working her way up on Capitol Hill.  During her time at RWU Law, Sarah was a Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellow, externed for the U.S. Coast Guard in Boston, and interned for the Nature Conservancy in Hawaii. 

After reading this, you can probably understand why I love getting questions about what our graduates do after RWU Law.  What I enjoy most about their journeys is watching how they all took advantage of different opportunities at the law school, and how those opportunities really helped shape their careers.  I always enjoy hearing about their new jobs and accomplishments.  I also love seeing how so many of them work with our current students and come back to RWU to lecture. 

Welcome, Read Porter!

Read Porter, MAI Staff AttorneySpeaking of new jobs, we have a new face at the Marine Affairs Institute.  Read Porter joined us last month as our new Staff Attorney. 

Read is coming to us from the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) in Washington, DC, where he has worked for the last nine years.  At ELI, Read worked in the Oceans Program, directed ELI’s Invasive Species Program, and co-directed ELI’s Law Clerk Program.  He has extensive state, national, and international experience working with government agencies and non-governmental organizations developing sound policies, regulations, and laws. 

He has published widely in legal, policy, and scientific journals and has published numerous research reports and white papers on topics including the regulation of offshore energy production, ocean and coastal zoning, aquaculture production, fisheries management, and invasive species and biodiversity.  Prior to joining ELI in 2006, Read served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Julia Smith Gibbons on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 

Read holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and a B.A. from Amherst College.  Read is a wonderful addition to our staff, and will get to work directly with our students directing our Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellow Program. 

Welcome to the MAI, Read!