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Webinar: Legal Career Paths During COVID-19: Federal Government Perspectives

July 1, 2020 @ 12:00 pm 1:15 pm

A Discussion Series Presented by the Environmental Law Section, California Lawyers Association

Across the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyday life, caused thousands of deaths, and unleased unprecedented economic stress not seen since the 2008 Great Recession. These economic conditions have had an impact on the legal profession. Private law firms and in-house divisions are instituting pay cuts and reducing staff; local, state, and federal agencies are facing severe budget deficits leading to furloughs and hiring freezes; and non-profit legal organizations are seeing dwindling contributions and grants.

For attorneys and recent law school graduates, this economic uncertainty will present serious challenges to securing and/or retaining employment or a practice. What effect will this pandemic have on the legal profession? How should practitioners and recent law school graduates prepare to avoid career setbacks? What are lessons learned from previous economic recessions?

In this third installment, join practitioners from the federal government for a discussion about how to navigate through these uncertain times.

Speakers:

  • Amy C. Miller, Director, Enforcement & Compliance Assurance Division and Agriculture Advisor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX
  • Amanda M. Bettinelli, Assistant United States Attorney, Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section, United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California
  • Susan S. Hulbert, Counsel, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest

Alexa Engelman is an environmental attorney based in San Francisco. She has worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 2011 and handles a diverse case docket of enforcement, counseling, and litigation under the SDWA, CWA, NEPA and ESA in addition to working with federally recognized tribes in the region. She has worked at the NRDC, White House Council on Environmental Quality, CA Attorney General’s Office and started her career in environmental health advocacy before attending UCLA Law and School of Public Policy. In her free time she can be found hiking with her baby daughter in tow exploring the coast and mountains of California.

Amy Miller is the Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division and Agriculture Advisor to the Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9. The Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division works with state and tribal governments and other federal agencies to achieve compliance with our nation’s environmental laws through enforcement actions and compliance assistance efforts. Division staff conduct inspections and investigations and other activities related to case development. They team up with Office of Regional Counsel attorneys to negotiate settlements, prepare for administrative hearings, and refer potential judicial cases to the Department of Justice. This multi-media division was created in 2013. It consolidated the region’s civil enforcement responsibilities under the federal air, water, waste, pesticides, and toxics statutes, with the exception of CERCLA, which is handled by the Superfund and Emergency Response Division.

Prior to Amy’s appointment as Director, she was the Chief of Staff and Agriculture Advisor to Regional Administrator Michael Stoker and Acting Regional Administrator Alexis Strauss. Amy has worked at U.S EPA Region 9 for 25 years. In 2018, Amy completed her Senior Executive Service rotational assignment at USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service. She was also previously the Deputy Director of the Enforcement Division and has held management positions in water and hazardous waste programs. Amy holds a J.D. from Golden Gate University and B.A. from San Francisco State University.

Amanda M. Bettinelli has been a criminal prosecutor for 11 years. She has prosecuted EPA, USDA, FDA, Coast Guard, NOAA, USFWS, and smuggling cases. Amanda has received national recognition for her criminal prosecutions, and conducts agency trainings and leads regional task forces. She has served on the STAR Drug Court for the Central District of California for over six years. In addition, Amanda is the Co-Chair for the Just the Beginning Summer Legal Institute for the Central District of California serving under privileged high school students, and is a facilitator for Lorena Street Elementary School 5th grade students as part of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and LA County District Attorney’s Project LEAD Program. Amanda is also on the U.S. Attorney’s Office Diversity Committee, Hiring Committee, and served as the African American Special Events Program Manager for the office. She attended Columbia College, Columbia University (BA), Yale University (MA, Ethics), and NYU School of Law (J.D.). She is barred in NY, CT, and CA.

Susan S. Hulbert has served as the Counsel of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest since November 2017, where she leads a team of 19 attorneys and two support staff providing legal advice to command personnel on acquisition, environmental, real estate, fiscal, ethics, BRAC, rate intervention, and civilian personnel law.

From 2001 to 2017, Susan served as Associate Counsel and then Senior Associate Counsel specializing in environmental, land use and real estate law at NAVFAC Southwest, providing legal advice to command personnel generally and supervising a team of environmental and real estate attorneys. In that capacity, Susan provided direct legal support to the Marine Corps Integrated Product Team, Public Private Venture housing group and the Navy Broadway Complex redevelopment project team. Susan was the lead agency attorney defending the Navy in a series of cases challenging the Navy’s Broadway project, which ended with a decision for the Navy in the United States Supreme Court.

From November 1995 through August 2001, Susan served as an Assistant Counsel at Atlantic Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Norfolk, Virginia. From September 1988 until November 1995, Susan practiced general corporate, environmental and real estate law with the law firm of Willcox & Savage, P.C., in Norfolk, Virginia.

Prior to attending law school, Susan worked in the Press Office at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and for the National Park Service as a ranger at Boston National Historic Park. Susan graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1983 with a B.A. in History and History of Art, and she received a J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School in 1988.

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