Practice Areas  |  Attorneys  |  News & Events  |  Publications  |  Contact Us

Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

Q&A with Environmental Law Partner
Miriam Villani

Miriam E. Villani

In addition to her active environmental law practice, Miriam Villani is a member of the Executive Committee of The Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Miriam also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Section's newsletter. In this interview, Miriam explains her devotion to the profession and her leadership role in the Bar Association.

When did you get involved in the Section?
I was a student member of the NYSBA Environmental Law Section in law school and then continued my membership once I started practicing. I got involved as an active member after a few years of practice. I had been attending Section CLE programs with my EPA colleagues, and liked the camaraderie of the Section. Soon after I entered the private sector, I was nominated as an Executive Committee member-at-large by one of my law school professors and mentors, Phil Weinberg. A year or so later, I was invited to chair the Section's environmental law essay contest. I still chair that contest. In 2000, I was nominated as an Officer and continued through the five-year term of officer from Secretary to Section Chair. I became the Editor-in-Chief of the Section's journal at the end of my term as Officer and have continued in that role since. As Editor-in-Chief and as a former Chair of the Section, I remain on the Executive Committee.

What motivated you to assume a leadership role on the Executive Committee and to devote efforts to publish the Section's newsletter?
Both the mission of the Section and the members who sit on the Executive Committee have been my motivation for devoting time and energy to the Section's business.

How has your work for the Section benefitted you, and what have you learned from this experience?
My involvement in the Section has added depth to my career and experience. I learn from my Section colleagues and benefit from having the state's, and probably the country's, leading environmental lawyers and legal minds available for discussing emerging issues and developing law.

How has your work helped your colleagues, and, most importantly, how has your work helped further the goals of the Section and benefit the interests of those members who practice environmental law?
I assist my colleagues at the Firm by providing a unique expertise to assist with the Firm's clients' matters. A part of the Section's mission is to educate the bar in the field of environmental law. My work as Editor-in-Chief helps facilitate this goal by getting out to the membership a scholarly publication with articles and columns that inform about the latest developments in environmental law.

Lastly, what advice do you have for law students, and newly admitted lawyers who want to practice environmental law?
Law students who want to practice environmental law should take all the classes offered by the school that have a connection to environmental law; join the school's environmental law society; write for the school's environmental law publication; join the environmental law section of at least one bar association as a student member; submit an essay to the NYSBA Environmental Law Section's essay contest; and do clinical/internship work at one or more of the environmental regulatory agencies. A newly admitted lawyer should become an active member of at least one bar association environmental law section by offering to co-chair a committee; get to know the members of that section; and, if not in an office where environmental law is practiced regularly, offer to do some pro bono work in the field in order to start building some experience.

Main Office: 333 Earle Ovington Boulevard, Suite 601, Uniondale, New York 11553 • Telephone: (516) 228-1300 • Telecopier: (516) 228-0038
New York City Office: 405 Lexington Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10174 • Telephone: (212) 829-4375
Syosset Office: 116 Jackson Avenue, Syosset, New York 11791 • Telephone: (516) 921-1000

© Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved. SAHN WARD COSCHIGNANO, PLLC Attorneys At Law
Practice Areas | Attorneys | News & Events | Publications | Contact

This is New York Attorney Advertising. This enewsletter is designed for general information only. The information presented in this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.