For Second Year in a Row, UM Team Wins First Place at Environmental Law and Policy Hack Competition

The purpose of the competition is to orient students toward the development of practicable environmental policy; encourage law students to collaborate with policy stakeholders and catalyze the conceptualization and implementation of innovative solutions to pressing environmental problems.
For Second Year in a Row, UM Team Wins First Place at Environmental Law and Policy Hack Competition

Vanessa Forbes-Pateman (Ph.D. student), Alyssa Huffman (J.D.), Clara Tomé (J.D.), Gabriella Berman (J.D./Ph.D.), and Katie Geddes (Ph.D. student). 

For the second year in a row, University of Miami students took home first place at the Environmental Law and Policy Hack Competition hosted by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. Professor Jessica Owley, faculty director for Miami Law's Environmental Law Program, coached the team.

The team consisted of Miami Law students Alyssa Huffman, Clara Tomé, Gabriella Berman, as well as Ph.D. students Katie Geddes and Vanessa Forbes-Pateman.

Last year’s team also won the competition and were tasked with selecting a body of water and identifying potential sources of nutrient contamination. They then developed strategies, policies, and other initiatives to reduce pollution of their chosen body of water.

This year, the competition asked students to consider how private environmental governance tools could be used to tackle a pressing environmental issue. UM’s team wrote about creating an NGO to monitor the environmental and social harms of seabed mining.

“We are elated to have been unanimously selected as this year's winners amongst three other incredible teams with extremely impressive proposals,” said Huffman. “We put a lot of work and thought into this, and we are excited to move forward with our innovative new idea.”

Four teams were selected for final oral presentations based on the written submissions. This year the teams were from Vanderbilt, Maryland, Yale/Pace, and Miami. The judges praised UM’s students and said that they were unanimous in their decision.

The team won a trophy and a cash prize to explore putting their proposal into effect.

Read more about Miami Law’s Environmental Law Program