Janelle Smith, an incoming student at the University of Texas School of Law, has been awarded the Scholarship in Environmental Justice Law. The scholarship, created by a gift from the Environmental Integrity Project, supports students with a demonstrated interest in public interest environmental law and environmental justice and includes professional mentorship and networking opportunities with Environmental Integrity Project attorneys. The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law administers the scholarship program at the law school.
Smith received undergraduate and masters degrees from Northeastern University in Boston and then worked in health care administration. Immediately before coming to law school, she worked as a middle school teacher in Houston as a Teach for America Corps member.
“When I think of the need for environmental protection, I think of my students,” said Smith. “Refineries and plants strategically choose to operate in and around poor communities. Children don’t get to choose their neighborhood, the home they inhabit, the air they breathe, or the water they drink. All people must be afforded the right to breathe pollutant-free air and to drink clean water. I’ve come to law school to learn and to advocate for those rights.”
“I’m so pleased that EIP’s gift has funded this scholarship for Janelle Smith,” said Kelly Haragan, director of the Law School’s Environmental Clinic. “I look forward to meeting her and supporting her quest to further environmental justice.”