A jubilant crowd of alums, friends, faculty and students gathered on April 14 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Ecology Law Quarterly (ELQ). Founded in 1970, ELQ came of age in the early years of the environmental movement and national environmental policy. A 1974 advertisement for ELQ captured the sentiment of the day: “Ecology Law Quarterly is not just another law review. It’s a potent weapon in the battle for the earth.”
After 35 years, the field of environmental law has come into its own and many ELQ student writers and editors have been at the forefront, raising questions, crafting policy and developing legal tools that support environmental protection.
ELQ is an important proving ground for student research, writing and scholarship. The journal’s annual review issue, comprised entirely of student case notes, highlights the tremendous diversity in the field of environmental law. The traditional ELQ annual review is also one of the few issues completely written by students. Dan Farber, Sho Sato Professor of Law and director of the Environmental Law Program, commented on the importance of a student perspective in the foreword of the 2005 Annual Review “… student authors so often direct our attention to how a particular case actually relates to real-world environmental issues and policy concerns. These observations by students only highlight the extent to which the courts so often seem oblivious to these implications.”
A paper by Sheryl Lawrence ’06 entitled, “What Can You Do with a Green Fluorescent Pig?” exemplifies ELQ’s practice of focusing on critical issues of our time. Lawrence received ELQ’s highest honor, the Ellis J. Harmon Prize, for her examining the efficacy of current government oversight systems in regulating the products of genetic modification. The “green fluorescent pig” is an example of an advancement in biotechnology that may escape federal regulation depending on its classification as drug, food or pet. As a Harmon prize winner, her paper will be published an upcoming issue of the journal. Lawrence was also awarded the Landis Prize for Government and Law.
Lawrence and incoming Editor-in-Chief Casey Roberts are grateful to be a part of the ELQ legacy. “ELQ’s history gives people a great sense of importance … connected to the university, the law school and a lot more.” And, as evidenced by the spirited crowd at the 35th anniversary dinner, ELQ has indeed spawned a thriving community of alums and longtime friends.