Get to Know: The Forum staff

By Forum staff

Even though the VLS community is spread far and wide, we want to introduce people within our community so you can get to know them better.

In the first of the series, we want to introduce The Forum staff.

Julia Guerrein, Editor-in-Chief

Julia is a 2L/AJD focusing on international environmental law. She is from Erie, Pennsylvania, and has spent many hours enjoying and exploring the shores of Lake Erie. Julia received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Penn State Behrend where she was the editor-in-chief of her undergraduate newspaper, The Behrend Beacon, worked on a variety of research projects, and played in both jazz and concert band. Julia came to law school to marry her love for science and the law. As an undergrad, she traveled to Costa Rica, the Bahamas, and Canada for research, which inspired her love of travel and interest in international environmental issues. At VLS, Julia is also a member of the newly-formed State Relations Committee. In her free-time, she enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, listening to music, and playing instruments.

Michelle Amidzich, News Editor

Hey Swans,

My name is Michelle Amidzich, and I’m a 2L in the joint J.D./MFALP program. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, and I will attest that our beer is better than Vermont’s. After undergrad, I worked for the United States Senate and The World’s Largest Music Festival™ before coming to VLS. I came to law school because I have a passion to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system — particularly animals in agriculture and captive wildlife. Basically, if animals are involved, I want to help.

My personal time is usually spent snuggling with my two cats, playing games and hiking with my partner, hanging out with my incredible friends, and experimenting with healthy, vegan baking! Please feel free to reach out about literally anything because now more than ever we need to support each other! I also will never say no to a new vegan baking recipe  🙂

Arielle V. King, Publisher

Arielle V. King (she/her/hers) is an Albany, NY native and 3L at Vermont Law School, where she also completed a Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy (MELP). During her time at Vermont Law thus far, King co-founded the Environmental Justice Law Society, a student group interested in advancing environmental justice through advocacy, education, and knowledge of the law. Last year, she worked as an Advanced Student Clinician in the school’s new Environmental Justice Clinic, which strives to use civil rights law to combat environmental harm in low-income communities and communities of color. This year she is an inaugural member of the Climate Justice Practicum, a joint clinic with the Yale Center for Climate Change and Health. She is also the Publisher of the school newspaper, The Forum, which she helped revive this year after a 7-year hiatus.

Before starting at Vermont Law, King graduated from Bard College at Simon’s Rock with a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a concentration in Political Ecology. Her senior thesis was entitled Government and the Voiceless City: A Case Study on the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis and State-Community Relations.

She was recently selected as a New Hampshire/Vermont Albert Schweitzer Fellow, where she is writing a grade 5-8 teacher’s guide to incorporate BIPOC perspectives into traditional curriculum with a coinciding activity book and teacher’s conference. Recently, Arielle co-wrote an Anti-Racism policy and corresponding procedure for K-12 school districts, organizations, and municipalities and is working many groups for adoption of the policy across the nation. After graduation in May 2021, Arielle hopes to combine her interests for environmental law, social justice, civil rights and education to advocate for a cleaner, more just and equitable environment for all people, where polluters are held accountable for their actions; understanding that any movement requires intersectionality.

Kirsten Williams, Staff Writer

Kirsten is a second-year student in the joint degree program between VLS and the Yale School for the Environment. Born and raised in Alaska, she studied Natural Resources Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she earned her BS and an minor in music performance. Kirsten’s experience working in government and research, combined with her deep passion for the sea, sparked her interest in law; especially the intersection of climate change, energy, and ocean/coastal law. She is on the executive board for the VLS Environmental Law Society and volunteers as an Associate Editor for JURIST, a student-powered legal news resource. This past summer she worked as a student clinician at the Institute for Energy and the Environment and as a research assistant at the Environmental Tax Policy Institute.

James O’Brien, Staff Writer

James O’Brien is a MELP candidate currently living in his home state of Michigan. He is a US Army veteran and studied Natural Resources Policy & Management for his undergrad at Oregon State University. While in Oregon he worked for Trout Unlimited, where his love for environmental and conservation advocacy was born. He then moved to D.C., to manage a campaign for a woman running for political office in Virginia. It was during that time where he stoked the fire for policy-related work and recognized the importance of an inclusive local government. Post-graduation, he plans to work in the non-profit sector, primarily lobbying for science-driven policy protecting our watersheds. He is currently volunteering as a Policy Assistant with his local Watershed Council. James loves to spend his free time outdoors with his wife and their dog.

Stephanie Bing, Staff Writer

Stephanie Bing is a first year J.D. student from the Washington, D.C. region. She has a background in education, journalism, Spanish, and history. Her favorite subject in law school so far is torts and she hopes to pursue a career in Entertainment Law.

Lorentz Hansen, Copy Editor

Lorentz Hansen (they/she) is a 2L J.D. & Master’s in Restorative Justice student from Maryland. Lorentz earned a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago, where they also served as a Deputy Editor on the school’s newspaper, The Chicago Maroon. After graduating, Lorentz interned at a law firm in Vienna, Austria, assisting with research, brief-writing, and an ICC international arbitration case. They subsequently obtained a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Boston University MET International and put those research skills to use writing briefs for a small startup company designing new law school textbooks. Lorentz now works as a TA for Prof. Christine Ryan’s 1L legal research course and a Staff Editor on Vermont Law Review. They’re interested in civil rights, restorative justice, and reproductive rights, and hope to incorporate each of those interests into their work in the future. Although Lorentz (genuinely) enjoys editing, they spend the rest of their time reading, exploring with their camera, birding, working on crossword puzzles, and hanging out with their cat, Nelly.

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