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Keith Richard ’14 wins national Energy Law competition

Independent legal research project makes the case for regional approach to renewable energy standards

(Boston, 2/18/14) New England Law | Boston: Keith Richard ’14 is the winner of the Institute for Energy Law’s (IEL) annual writing prize for J.D. students. Renewable Portfolio Standards Among the New England States: How About Some Good Old-Fashioned Yankee Regionalism? analyzes renewable portfolio standards (RPS), through which state governments require electricity providers to acquire a specific percentage of the electricity that they sell from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. 

Keith Richard '14 Keith Richard '14
As the institute’s Hartrick Scholar, Richard will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and expense paid trips to both its annual conference as well as its law school symposium.
Richard wrote the paper as part of an independent legal research project under the supervision of Professor Peter Manus, who co-directs the Center for Law and Social Responsibility. “I took an energy law seminar with Adjunct Professor Laura Bickel [New England Law Class of 2003] in spring 2013, which opened my eyes to some fascinating concepts that I wanted to explore in more depth,” says Richard. “The independent legal research project gave me that opportunity.
“My paper calls for the New England states to band together in a uniform RPS program. It would likely be more efficient than a state-by-state approach.”
“Keith took on a massive challenge with this project,” said Professor Manus. “RPS’s are developed state by state, and Keith was determined to analyze multiple models in some depth. He also addressed a variety of legal challenges, including constitutional issues, and made his case for a regional approach.  I was delighted to review drafts, but it was Keith’s unflagging work ethic that powered him through it, and I am glad to see the piece recognized as the real achievement that it is.”
Professor Peter Manus Professor Peter Manus, co-director, Center for Law and Social Responsibility
Richard is currently interning at the City of Waltham, MA, Legal Department as part of New England Law’s land use clinic. He previously took advantage of numerous New England Law opportunities that helped him prepare for the competition. 
In fall 2013 he interned for Hon. William Young, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. “It’s probably one of the most prestigious internships a law student can take on,” says Richard. “Without Professor Charles Sorenson’s [Judicial Internships Program director] guidance and connections, the opportunity would not likely have been available to me.
“In federal court, you hear oral arguments from some of the country’s best trial attorneys. It’s incredible how many moving parts and strategies are involved in these cases.  I wrote bench memos for oral arguments and motion hearings. Three weeks in, I interviewed with five justices on the Maine Superior Court and was offered a clerkship after I graduate.”
Richard served as a 2013 Summer Fellow with the EPA’s Region 1 headquarters in Boston, working closely with attorneys from the Department of Justice to research and draft administrative documents for Clean Air Act and Superfund (hazardous waste remediation) cases.  His supervisor noted Richard’s success in handling “…tasks typically assigned to lawyers at EPA—not legal interns.”  Richard also gained experience through internships in 2012 with Judge Harry Grossman of the Massachusetts Land Court in Boston and with the Greater Boston Legal Services Consumer Unit.
After graduation, Richard intends to take the Maine and Massachusetts bar exams prior to pursuing a career in energy, environmental, or land use law.

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