About

The Center for Earth Jurisprudence is so fortunate to be located at Barry University School of Law. Over the years we have had the privilege of working with incredible legal advocates in training who have played a crucial role in advancing laws and policies that take a more Earth-centered approach. Check out our current and past Earth Law and Policy Fellows here. 


Summer 2018 Earth Law and Policy Fellows 

Catalina Rodriquez

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Catalina is a third-year law student at Barry University School of Law where she is pursuing an Honors Certificate in Environmental and Earth Law. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Communication, Psychology, and the Law.

Prior to law school, Catalina worked in higher education as a Student Services Advisor at a state college where she learned that pursuing an education is a privilege and a necessity. She also learned about recycling programs and sustainability through the school’s internal programs which led her to wanting to pursue Environmental Law as her career.

Following her passions for learning about different cultures and people, Catalina attended Barry’s Summer in Spain program, where she took a class in comparative environmental law. During this program, she was fascinated by the different approach to environmental regulations that other countries take compared to the U.S., especially the preservation and protection of biodiversity. This has led her to writing her upper level research paper in the ethical aspects of maintaining healthy biodiversity across the world. She hopes to influence her readers to want to preserve species for our future generations by taking care of the environment.

Catalina also participated in the Environmental and Earth Law Clinic at Barry where she was able to learn about the various water issues in the Apalachicola River and Wekiva Springs, and see the factors affecting our drinking water sources. The Clinic gave her a taste of what working in the Environmental field is like, and she looks forward to chasing that feeling through her fellowship at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence. During her time as a fellow, she hopes to continue the fight for the planet to be recognized as its own being. She further hopes to encourage a shift in our culture towards a more intrinsic appreciation of nature and the beings within it.

 

Jillian A. Nerenberg

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llian A. Nerenberg is a third-year law student at the Barry University School of Law, where she is pursuing her Honors Certificate in Environmental and Earth Law. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2016.

During her college years, she found her passion in environmental and Earth law, as she sought out sustainability solutions amongst her peers. To gain some practical experience and further explore the environmental movement, she was accepted into Barry Law’s Environmental & Earth Law Clinic which she will began this upcoming Fall.

Jillian has recently joined the Center for Earth Jurisprudence team to further explore her interest in environmental and earth law. During her time as a fellow, she hopes to remain proactive in the fight to recognize the rights of planet Earth. She seeks to find a balance between maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment and enhancing human life.

Jillian enjoys spending her free time rock climbing, volunteering, and camping. In her future career, she aspires to work for a non-profit organization focusing on education and community outreach for the Florida Springs.

Marissa Goodrum

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Marissa is a second-year law student at Barry University School of Law. She graduated from University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities in 2016. Marissa chose Barry Law School for the ample opportunities in the field of environmental law as her long term career goals revolve around environmental law.  Before attending law school, Marissa worked as a Demand Writer for a private injury law firm. As a second-year student, Marissa is enthusiastic about starting her studies with environmental law.

Throughout her time working with the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, she hopes to gain a more thorough understanding of what it means to study and practice environmental law.

Marissa spends her free time running, watching movies, and caring for her cat, Samwise. She hopes to have her future career involve preserving national parks or working for a non-profit geared toward education and conservation.


2017-2018 Earth Law and Policy Fellows

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Arlene Cuellar

An accomplished human resources professional, Arlene currently works in the recruitment field. However, she was once a private investigator, specializing in maritime investigations. And, it was this experience, in combination with a love of the sea, that led her to an extensive career in the cruise industry – and to the awareness of the need for stronger laws to protect our natural resources.

A lifelong advocate of animals and the environment, Arlene has, throughout the years, adopted several rescue dogs, stray cats, and homeless gerbils, among others. She currently advocates for a variety of causes which include ending the dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan, retiring captive cetaceans to sea pens, and, garnering support against future black bear hunts in Florida, as well as bringing awareness to a variety of environmental issues and causes. Arlene was a founding Director of Imagine Our Florida, Inc., a Florida environmental non-profit, and now serves on their Advisory Board.

Arlene holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics & Public Affairs from the University of Miami and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Nova-Southeastern University. She is currently a Juris Doctor candidate and hopes to practice in the area of Environmental law.

Kathryn L. Avila

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Kathryn L. Avila is a third-year law student at the Barry University School of Law, where she is pursuing her Honors Certificate in Environmental and Earth Law. She graduated cum laude from the University of Florida in 2014. Prior to law school, she worked for the Levin Law Firm as a litigation assistant in pharmaceutical mass torts.

Following her passion for travel, Kathryn attended Barry’s Summer in Spain program, where she took a class in comparative environmental law. Her time in Spain sparked her interest in environmental and earth law, as she questioned the differences between countries in their approaches to environmental regulation and land use management. To gain some practical experience and further explore the environmental movement, she was accepted into Barry Law’s Environmental & Earth Law Clinic where she focused her efforts in SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) legislation, plastic bag bans, and preventing the reversion of public to private land.

Kathryn is currently continuing her work with the clinic as an Advanced Environmental & Earth Law student and has joined the Center for Earth Jurisprudence team to further entertain her interest in environmental and earth law. During her time as a fellow, she hopes to remain proactive in the fight to recognize planet Earth as its own being. She seeks to help shift the current mentality of human-centered values towards an affirmative duty of care that humans have to maintain a healthy and sustainable environment.

Samantha Koempel

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Samantha is a third-year law student at Barry University School of Law where she is pursuing an Honors Certificate in Environmental and Earth Law. Samantha has been passionate about environmental issues since high school. She graduated Florida Atlantic University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Geography. She also obtained certificates in Environmental Science and Geographic Information Systems. While at FAU, she led a sustainability student organization that focused on local environmental issues such as, a campus wide recycling program and a community garden.

Shortly before attending Barry Law Samantha was a sustainability intern for the City of Coconut Creek in South Florida where she focused on a city-wide recycling program.

While attending Barry Law she was elected to lead two organizations, becoming the Justice of Phi Alpha Delta, an International Law Fraternity, and the President of the Environmental Law Society. She also was accepted to participate in the Environmental and Earth Law Clinic during the Spring 2017 semester. She continued her passion for environmental law through partaking in the program as an Advanced Student working on multiple local projects. Her projects during the clinic included work to further the protection of local Florida Springs, and private drinking well contamination in a nearby community.

Samantha has continued to be active in her community, traveling to environmental conferences and panels across the State of Florida. Her quest for knowledge, and desire to help people see the importance of a healthy environment, is evident in all her endeavors.  Samantha enjoys spending her free time gardening, volunteering, and camping. She is very passionate about the interconnectedness of nature and cannot wait to begin her career doing what she loves.

Lizaida Guadalupe

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Lizaida Guadalupe is a third-year law student at the Barry University School of Law, where she is pursuing her Honors Certificate in Environmental and Earth Law. Lizaida graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Business and a minor in Italian. While at FAU, she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Pre-Law Society.

Motivated by her passion to learn about the legal system in the U.S., as well as those in other countries, she decided to go to Barry Law School. During her first year, she began to learn about laws relating to water rights in Florida and became concerned about the availability of freshwater in the state in the near future. She also became proactive in following the forecasts of sea-level rise in Florida in the future.

In an effort to resolve some of the water issues that continue to evolve in the state, Lizaida traveled to the Netherlands and completed the United Nations Water Law Program in Delft. During her time in the Netherlands she learned how, in preparation for a climate changed future, the people of the Netherlands are designing and constructing billions of Euros worth of project to ensure the well-being of their nation. She studied water management as experienced in a nation situated below sea-level and learned how other countries are meeting the present global challenges by building a strong foundation of knowledge to improve water management practices.

Lizaida was accepted into Barry Law’s Environmental & Earth Law Clinic where she had the opportunity to work with the Apalachicola Riverkeepers and the Florida League of Women Voters to advocate for the protection and restoration of the Apalachicola River, Apalachicola Bay and adjacent lands. She is currently continuing her work with the clinic as an Advanced Environmental & Earth Law Student and further focusing her efforts in saving the Apalachicola River and Bay as well as working on other local projects. During her time as a fellow, she hopes to help develop laws that take into account the importance of preventing harm to our Earth rather than restoring the harm once it is done. She also aspires to continue being involved in efforts to protect and restore our springs and rivers and promote better water management practices across the state.


Spring 2017 Earth Law and Policy Fellows

Abraham Elmazahi

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Abraham serves as the Earth law & Policy Fellow at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence where he is primarily responsible for legal and legislative research. His work includes research and writing on legislative matters, as well as, preparing advocacy materials and proposed legislation. Abraham also provides legal research and writing regarding earth jurisprudence, environmental law, and environmental justice.

Abraham brings fifteen years of legislative and government affairs experience to CEJ. Abraham worked for nearly a decade in the United States Senate serving as a Legislative Aide to both Senator Robert G. Torricelli (D-NJ) and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (ID-CT). Senator Lieberman served on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and chaired its Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands and Private Property, which provided Abraham with the opportunity to work on several legislative measures on clean air, clean water and climate change.

As Legislative Director for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Abraham worked closely with Congress, the Executive Office of the President and the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama Administration. He helped secure federal funding and programs to serve nearly four million at-risk youth in our nation’s most disadvantaged communities.   

Abraham earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Government from Kean University. He is currently pursuing his Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law, and is also a candidate for the Honors Certificate in Environmental and Earth Law. Abraham is also an Associate Editor of the Barry Law Journal.

A big animal advocate, Abraham enjoys nature with his two rescue dogs, Ronnie and Lexi. Abraham also volunteers with Lobby for Animals, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting for animal rights.

Judah Lieblich

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Judah is an Australian Attorney with experience in land use, environmental law and litigation. Judah is a Law and Policy Research Fellow at the CEJ.

Judah studied at the University of Western Australia, where he initially majored in Environmental Management before completing his Bachelor of Laws, which he was awarded with Distinction in 2013. During his studies in Australia he developed a passion for fisheries and wetland protection, and completed an internship with the Western Australian State Government focusing on recommending alternatives to recreational fishing regulations. Judah worked at Jackson McDonald, one of the largest commercial law firms in Western Australia, where he spent 8 months in commercial litigation before moving to the land use and environment team. Judah worked on cases involving illegal dumping, contaminated land and preventing unlicensed building in environmentally sensitive areas. Most notable was a complex contaminated land case that involved tracing corporate responsibility back decades and translating environmental scientist’s reports into concise legal arguments. 

Since moving to Florida, Judah has undertaken study towards a JD in order to become admitted to practice in Florida. Along with excellent academic results, Judah is on the moot court honors board and law review and is currently interning with Judge Higbee of the 9th Judicial Circuit.

Growing up in Western Australia, Judah spent a lot of time at the beach and in the outdoors camping and hiking, as well as at his family farm. Coming from this background, Judah has been enjoying the unique outdoor environment that Florida offers.

Judah has been a member of the Western Australian Bar and was admitted before the Western Australian Supreme Court and in the High Court of Australia and Australian Federal Courts.