March 8, 2016
Kristian C. Corby, '13, knew he wanted to go to law school on the West Coast and study
water law, but he didn't know just where. Then he began to notice that his research
kept pointing him toward Sacramento and McGeorge School of Law-and he's glad it did.
"Once I got here, I realized this was the perfect place to be. California has so many water issues, and Sacramento is in the policy center of it all," says Kristian. "It was like getting thrown right into a heavyweight title fight. We have all these water policy experts, hydrologists, biologists-you're in this hotbed of really smart people and cutting edge ideas."
Kristian, who graduated with a J.D. in 2013, and a Water Resources Law LLM in 2014, came out swinging.
He co-founded McGeorge's Water Law Society, which taps the region's expertise to deliver important educational opportunities for students. The society organizes lectures by leading water policy experts, such as legendary water lawyer and McGeorge alum George Soares, and Ronald Robie, Associate Justice for the state's Third District Court of Appeal, and both a former vice chair of the state Water Resources Control Board and director of the state Department of Water Resources. The society also sponsors field trips to important water facilities, such as pumping plants and treatment facilities.
Kristian was McGeorge's first-ever Water Fellow, assisting Prof. Stephen C. McCaffrey, a world-renowned international water law expert, in disputes before the International Court of Justice, in The Hague, Netherlands.
In a meeting with Charlene Mattison, assistant dean for advancement, external relations and career development, to pitch the Water Fellow concept, Kristian came away with Mattison's approval-and an offer from her for another task, if he was interested. Help design a McGeorge water law and policy institute.
The McGeorge Water Resources Law Institute is scheduled to open in Fall 2014. It is slated to conduct policy research, provide a forum for collaborative solutions to California's water issues, and work on legislative and regulatory reforms.
Kristian now has what he terms a "dream job," as an associate attorney at King Williams & Gleason LLP, a Sacramento-based environmental law firm, where he specializes in hazardous waste remediation.
"I couldn't have asked for a better school to learn water law. Part of the reason I've been able to be successful is because McGeorge is so willing to entertain student ideas," says Kristian.
"And yes, this is a dream job. I never would have expected that as a first-year attorney I would be gaining experience in the highly competitive field of environmental law. I'm working directly with partners, writing motions, helping determine strategy. I'm not just looking under the hood-I'm helping build the engine. It's fantastic."