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Gina Angiolillo is a 1L from Massachusetts. Gina studied Natural Resource Economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst before earning a Master’s in Environmental Economics at Duke University. For the last three years, she worked at a small non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area tackling global deforestation through market incentives.

Love that dirty water (Oh, Boston you’re my home!)

It’s good to be home!

While admittedly I grew up in the suburbs, there is something about that Boston pride that stretches beyond the city limits. (Even Yankee fans will sing Sweet Caroline.) After five years away, it’s nice to be back. While family, friends, and the best sports teams on earth were a powerful draw for me, the reason I’m here is a slightly longer story.

I’m thumbin’ my way into North Caroline

After studying Natural Resource Economics at UMass-Amherst, I continued on to Duke University to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Economics. (Huge change of direction, I know.)

In North Carolina, I had my first “Eureka!” moment on my journey to law school. My first summer, I interned at the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. While there, I noticed that the environmentalists would discuss the issues coming through the General Assembly, establish a collective position, and then convey the message to local environmental lawyers to implement. I envied their seemingly heroic ability to use the law to effectively create change, particularly during a legislative session that actually tried to make climate science illegal. (Seriously.)

California here we come

I decided to finish my master’s degree, and come back to this “law school thing” if it was something I was still interested in after spending some time in the field. I traveled west to the Golden State (of environmental issues, of course) to advocate for market mechanisms for preventing global deforestation. The work was exciting, frustrating, fulfilling, and exhausting all at the same time. And yet again, there seemed to be these mythical lawyer-creatures who were able to tackle the policy blockades that stopped us mere mortals.

I’m shipping back to Boston

What ultimately drew me to law school was this persistent feeling that if I wanted to be a part of the change I believe our planet needs, I had to develop the tools to rewrite the rules. I’m not exactly sure where I’ll end up within the world of environmental law, but I am so excited to have the incredible minds (of both students and faculty) at HLS to help me figure it out.

It of course helps that the school that boasts legendaries like Professors Richard Lazarus and Cass Sunstein also happens to be in the land of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Once again, it’s good to be home.