Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lawyers and the Environment

I read an article today from the New York Times which I thought was pretty interesting. Theodore Kheel, a 93 year old lawyer from New York who still "works full days five or six days a week", is going to donate 1 million dollars to Pace University Law School in New York. Mr. Kheel, (who has obviously had a lot of success as a lawyer) said, "climate change is the most serious problem the world faces and resolution between the environment and development is absolutely critical to the survival of life on this planet.” He believes that lawyers versed in environmental legal issues can make a positive impact on the environment by mediating between environmentalists and big corporations. The article closed with a quote by Mr. Kheel. “We’re creating the mechanics by which lawyers can be active in the field of global warming,” he said. “We’re creating a center to address the interest disputes that can’t be handled in the courts, but still something must be done.”
I love to see attention focused on the environment from people other than just the "environmentalists". Mr. Kheel, a highly educated, respected man in his field has chosen to address a problem not usually emphasized by lawyers. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that there is a lot of money involved in environmental law, but Mr. Kheel seems like he genuinely wants to use his craft to make a positive impact on the world. This world certainly needs more people to make that type of commitment.

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