Jillian Houle '24: An Engaged Learner
Jillian Houle always had an interest in the law, but what really shifted her gears full-force towards a career in law was her undergraduate education where she studied structural racism, the feminist movement, indigenous rights, food insecurity, and most importantly to her, the climate crisis. “Learning the truths of these matters made me want to explore them further and deeper,” said Jillian. “The more I reflected, the more I came to realize that at the core of each of those subjects is this sense of (what I would consider to be) human rights: the right to not be discriminated against based on race, the right to have affordable access to healthy foods, and the right to live in a stable climate and environmentally just society. The law appeals to me in that it structures the society that plays home to these issues, so I want to spend my life in the realm of the laws, using them, changing them, arguing for and against them in the interests of people and the earth.”
Now a 2L, Jillian has enjoyed her time at Haub Law so far. “I find the Haub Law culture very communal; it is not just an ‘every person for themselves’ atmosphere.” Jillian also has found inspiration in her professors, in particular Professor Greenawalt and Professor Cassuto. “Professor Greenawalt inspired me to be more engaged with politics, SCOTUS, and news generally. I had Con Law with him, and he did a superb job of relating the cases back to present day by bringing in current iterations of issues and fostering thoughtful class discussion about all sorts of prevalent issues.” And, Professor Cassuto’s Environmental Law Survey course was her first “real taste” of environmental law. “The breadth of interesting subjects covered in the course combined with the passion Professor Cassuto imbues into each of his lectures reaffirmed my convictions towards being an environmental lawyer.”
“I find the Haub Law culture very communal; it is not just an ‘every person for themselves’ atmosphere.”
This past summer Jillian interned for the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of General Counsel. With a strong interest in administrative law, Jillian felt this opportunity was a great experience. “I learned so much: big and little picture,” said Jillian. “I learned more in-depth about how federal agencies operate and how to perform legal research on administrative appeals decisions while becoming exceedingly familiar with the Code of Federal Regulations (Title VII, specifically). Additionally, because I was virtually stationed in the Central Region out of the Department’s Little Rock, Arkansas Field Office, I learned that a lot of what the field offices do is based in risk weighing and making critical decisions both based in legal precedent and the CFR, but also in considering less tangible, more subjective factors.” Jillian is grateful for the guidance she received from Professor Elyse Diamond, “I initially found this position on Symplicity, and after receiving an immense amount of help and guidance from Professor Diamond, I was able to secure it.”
While at Haub Law, Jillian is pursuing the Advanced Certificate in Environmental Law. This fall she has worked as an extern with the EPA, Region 2, Office of Regional Counsel in their Criminal Enforcement Division. “My ultimate goal in life is to do whatever I can to help mitigate and reverse the effects of climate change.” Working for the EPA was a dream of hers, so to be able to combine her interests in administrative, public interest, environmental protection, and criminal law all into one experience was very gratifying for Jillian.
In her spare time, Jillian enjoys sunning anywhere she can place her beach chair, going to the beaches on the New Hampshire coast, going on runs and walks daily, exploring NYC, and baking with her roommate. She is also an avid singer – from performing in competitions through college, to now jamming out in her car and in the shower!