The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center is excited to announce that in September 2018 it will welcome Erin Mette, who will join the Center as an Equal Justice Works fellow. Erin’s fellowship project will focus on protecting children in Detroit and Flint from home-based environmental health hazards by providing legal counseling and representation to affected families and advocating for policy that addresses the root causes of this unique environmental justice issue.
For too many residents in environmental justice communities, their home is a hazard to their health. Home-based environmental health hazards include lead paint on the walls of older homes and a lack of access to clean drinking water due to lead contamination and water service shutoffs. Many of these homes that contain environmental health hazards are the homes of children, who are especially vulnerable to the life-long health impacts that these hazards cause. Additionally, these hazards disproportionately affect children in low-income communities of color, whose voices have typically been excluded from the process of creating and enforcing the standards meant to prevent such harms. The families impacted by home-based environmental health hazards overwhelmingly lack access to legal services to help them address these issues. Through her Equal Justice Works fellowship, Erin will provide a wide variety of direct legal services to families confronting home-based environmental health hazards to ensure that those families are being adequately protected from such hazards.
Erin’s Equal Justice Works fellowship is for a term of two years and is sponsored by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and an anonymous donor. Equal Justice Works is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to creating a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. Each year, it provides funding to a limited number of applicants that have proposed innovative public interest law projects that seek to address pressing legal issues around the country through a highly competitive and rigorous process. Erin is the Center’s second Equal Justice Works fellow. The Center’s current staff attorney, Nick Leonard, initially joined the organization in 2014 through an Equal Justice Works fellowship.
Erin Mette is a 2018 graduate of Wayne Law and also holds a Master of Science from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College. During her time at Wayne Law, she was a student in the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic.