Jay Callahan, from Blacksburg, Va., is in his third year at Appalachian School of Law. Callahan grew up in the mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia. He says he’s studying law because he sees opportunity in how energy shapes communities, and has a three-point plan: repurpose mined land and GOB piles, treat acid mine drainage and ensure the people who live on the land also benefit from an energy resurgence.
“Energy industries have shaped Appalachia’s history, bringing income and people; without energy industries Appalachia would be neither populous nor prosperous. Even so, those same industries have had a profound impact on the land, the water, and on people’s health,” Callahan said. “The boom-bust nature of the coal industry has led to uncertainty and the coal industry’s recent decline has left a population without its lifeline.”
Professors Mark Belleville and Lucy McGee recommended Callahan.
“From my perspective, the defining characteristic of Mr. Callahan is his intellectual curiosity. He approaches environmental and natural resource issues with a passionate conservationist perspective, but he is very cognizant of the need to arm himself with a sound understanding of “the law” as well as the various considerations implicated by such issues. With refreshing candor, he has acknowledged his reason for coming to law school and focusing on environmental and natural resources law is to intellectually arm himself in the national debate over climate change and other and other environmental issues,” Belleville said.
McGee said Callahan excelled in class while providing services to low-income clients and participating in moot court and participating in a gob pile study at ASL’s Natural Resources Law Center.
“Jay is an asset to our campus and to our community,” she said.