Marjorie Yang ’11 has won a New York State Bar Association Minority Fellowship in Environmental Law, which provides a $6,000 stipend for a summer internship with a government or public interest environmental organization in New York State. She will be working at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, in various areas of environmental enforcement. Two prominent environmental law practitioners, Jeff Gracer and Yelann Momot, will serve as her mentors.
Yang is President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), Race Judicata Co-Chair, and serves as an Upper Class Delegate for the Student Bar Association. She earned a B.A. in Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University.
Her interest in the environment was piqued during an undergraduate summer of study in Beijing in 2005. She experienced firsthand the city’s notorious pollution problem and its consequences for inhabitants and neighboring cities as they began preparations to host the Olympics. She came to Brooklyn Law School to learn about environmental law on both domestic and international levels.
Environmental justice issues came into sharp focus during an internship working with Lisa Garcia, Class of 1998, at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 2. Garcia, who is now Senior Advisor on Environmental Justice to the national EPA Administrator, inspired her to work with minority and low income communities, which are often at greater risk of impact from environmental hazards.
Another internship, in the Rackets Bureau of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, gave Yang the opportunity to be involved in several environmental enforcement cases, including the sale of endangered seafood and the illegal dumping of solid and toxic waste in the New York State waterways. Most recently, Yang interned at the Office of New York State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, working on legislation that addresses such issues as the MTA’s use of tropical hardwoods for railroad ties and proposals to substitute more sustainable woods and plastic.