UOG Sea Grant launches Environmental Justice Legal Fellowship

UOG Sea Grant launches Environmental Justice Legal Fellowship

UOG Sea Grant launches Environmental Justice Legal Fellowship


Group photo, see description below

The University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant on Tuesday, June 13, announces the start of a landmark environmental and legal fellowship program in partnership with Blue Ocean Law and the Camacho and Taitano Law Group. From left, Kyle Mandapat, Assistant Director for Communications at UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant; Austin Shelton, Director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant; Julian Aguon, Founder and Principal Attorney of Blue Ocean Law; Leevin Camacho, Partner at Camacho and Taitano Law Firm; Shannon Taitano, Partner at the Camacho and Taitano Law Firm; and Fran Castro, Associate Director of UOG Sea Grant. Photo courtesy of the University of Guam.

The University of Guam is now accepting applications for the 2023 UOG Sea Grant Environmental Justice Legal Fellowship.

The program is seeking current law school students or recent graduates for a two-month fellowship with a focus on environmental justice in Guam and other islands in the Micronesia region. 

The fellowship is a partnership between the UOG Sea Grant Institutional Program and the Guam-based environmental law groups Blue Ocean Law and Camacho Taitano Law Firm. 

Austin Shelton, Director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant, said the fellowship offers a much-needed opportunity for Guamanians and other Micronesians who left the islands for legal training and are looking to make a return home.  

“This program will help bring more local talent home to Guam and Micronesia to work on environmental justice legal issues,” said Shelton. “Through partnerships like these, we intend to keep growing capacity in the islands to protect and manage our natural resources and support the communities who depend on them.”  

Attorney Leevin Camacho, co-founder of the Camacho Taitano Law Firm, said, “This fellowship is aimed at law school students from Micronesia who are passionate about protecting our environment. One of our goals is to form partnerships that create opportunities for our students to gain valuable experience in environmental law here in Micronesia.”   

“The long-term hope is that these fellows will use the experience and take advantage of opportunities right here at home to be advocates for our communities by helping to ensure meaningful participation in the legal process and identify resources, such as government funding, to address environmental impacts.”  

Pulitzer Prize-nominated author and the founder of Blue Ocean Law, attorney Julian Aguon said this program will build levels of expertise in environmental law in the region.  

“Our communities have historically been left out of the decision-making process for actions that have huge impacts on our natural and cultural resources. From extensive contamination of our lands and seas to the wide range of climate change-induced harms, there is a clear need for more advocates who are familiar with the rights and remedies available under environmental law,” said Aguon.  

Two fellows will be selected, and each will be assigned to one of the partner law firms. The fellowship comes with a $5,000 stipend for the program's duration.

Applications are available on the official UOG Sea Grant website and must be completed and accompanied by the applicant’s CV, three letters of support, and a biography.  

For more information and to apply for the UOG Sea Grant Environmental Justice Legal Fellowship visit www.uog.edu/seagrant today.