The Environmental Law Association (ELA) is an organization of the University of Georgia School of Law students who seek to further the development and advancement of environmental law through activities designed to increase environmental awareness among members of the community at large and the student bodies of the University of Georgia and the Georgia School of Law. We participate in the following activities:
  • Organization of the yearly Red Clay Conference
  • Monthly speakers who provide information from different perspectives on careers in the law
  • Dissemination of information regarding internships and jobs
  • Promotion of sound environmental policies
  • Trips outside the law school
Contact: see Leadership tab for current contact information


Advisor:  Professor Melissa J. Durkee

ELA Executive Board: 

President: Gabby Gravel (gdg80500@uga.edu)
Vice President: Promy Tabassum (promytabassum@uga.edu)
1L President: Victoria Hiten (vmh35600@uga.edu)
Secretary: Robert Hillyer (rlh00775@uga.edu)
Treasurer: Anna Scartz (acs63473@uga.edu)
Community Outreach Chair: Taylor Pittman (tap05968@uga.edu)
Events Chair: Priya Sinha  (pds28204@uga.edu)
Red Clay Advisors: Chris Bertrand (cjb66544@uga.edu) and Josh Rewis (cjr10238@uga.edu)


Past Presidents:
1971-72 Bill Poole
1972-73 Eugene Black
1973-74 Jack Sammons
1974-75 Mary Carden
1976-77 Beverly Gholson
1977-78 Elizabeth Barry & Dave Eldridge, Co-Presidents
1978-79 Martha McMasters
1979-80 Harger Hoyt
1980-81 Barth X. De Roas & Sam Collier
1981-82 Walter Ballew & Laurie Fowler, Co-Chairpersons
1982-83 Chrisanne Worthington & Libbi Black, Co-Chairpersons
1983-84 Melissa Heath & Jay Palmer, Co-Chairpersons
1984-85 Jay Palmer & Marilyn Kelm, Co-Chairpersons
1985-86 Paul Looper
1986-87 Mike Berrigan
1987-88 Mike Berrigan
1988-89 Lucy Phillips
1997-1998 Joe Vancura
1998-1999 Scott Hitch
2011-12 Jill Hollingsworth
2012-13 Michael Salter
2013-14 Jim Xiao
2014-15 Mark Grafton
2015-16 Bo Uuganbayar
2016-17 Emily Wyche
2017-18 Danielle Goshen
2018-19 Danielle Goshen
2019-20 Chris Bertrand

In the News

UGA Recieves a Go Green Rating of 99 (highest score) - The Princeton Review ranked the University of Georgia among 18 other schools on the Green Honor Roll. The University of Georgia has taken aggressive steps to conserve water on campus, such as installing rain gardens, planting native species, installing low-flow toilets and showerheads, recycling water in research labs, and even limiting flushes in stadium bathrooms during football games. The result of this “Every Drop Counts” campaign is that water use on campus is down 30 percent.

More than 100 members of the UGA faculty have joined together to create the Academy of the Environment, “a venue for cross-disciplinary collaboration in research, graduate and undergraduate training, and public education and outreach.” UGA is home to the Eugene Odum School of Ecology, and students and faculty from a variety of academic departments conduct research related to environmental issues—engineering students conduct energy audits on campus buildings, students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communication look for ways to promote energy conservation and recycling, and students in the River Basin Science and Policy Center research water quality in area streams. 

Learn more

Georgia Law’s 32nd Annual Red Clay Conference

Friday, February 21
The Red Clay Conference is an annual student run conference at the University of Georgia School of Law. This event was established to increase public awareness of environmental issues on a regional, national, and international level through a series of educational presentations and open forum discussions. The Conference attracts attorneys as well as students and interested members of the Athens community.

This year’s Conference is entitled: “Overcoming Toxic Relationships” Topics addressed include: coal ash, brownfield redevelopment in Georgia, and PFAS. The Keynote will be Lois Gibbs, Love Canal Activist and Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice.



2020 Conference Schedule

9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Registration and Opening Remarks
9:45 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. What's Up With Coal Ash? 
10:55 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Happy Birthday Superfund! (Brownfield Redevelopment) 
12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
(12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.) Bonus Presentation: NEPA and Chattahoochee National Forest
12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  PFAS, PFOA, and PFOS, Oh My! 
2:10 p.m. – 3:20 p.m
Peter Appel Honorary Keynote Lecture 
3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks


Student organizations are not a part of nor are they agencies of the University of Georgia School of Law or the University of Georgia.  Neither the University of Georgia School of Law nor the University of Georgia direct, supervise, or control these organizations.  Each organization is a separate and independent organization and is responsible for and manages its own activities and affairs. The University of Georgia School of Law and the University of Georgia are not responsible for any of these organizations’ contracts, acts or omissions.

The content and opinions expressed in student organization websites linked from this web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.