Michael Miller JD '12
After graduating with an engineering degree, Miller landed a position as an environmental engineer for General Electric, where he managed environmental compliance within the company's energy sub-business.
"Everything I did had to go through a legal team. I reported to an attorney," Miller said. After four years with the company, he decided to switch gears and apply to law school. "I jumped ship--it was a terrifying moment."
A native of Michigan, Miller moved east to come to Quinnipiac School of Law, where he was offered a Dean's Fellow scholarship. He got involved in the school's Environmental Law Society (ELS) and International Human Rights Law Society (IHR).
In his third year, he traveled to Guatemala during a school break to study heavy metal contamination from mines. Miller and his classmates from the IHR and ELS, along with School of Law professor Jeffrey Meyer, researched how provisions of an international treaty could help bring the country into compliance with existing laws against environmental hazards.
As a party to the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, Guatemala is required to enforce its own environmental laws to ensure that trade and commerce is not enhanced at the cost of environmental protection and public health. Following the trip, Miller authored a paper to help shed light on the problem.
While in school, Miller also took advantage of summers and free time during the school year to explore his career options. Throughout law school, Miller clerked at McCarter & English, focusing on construction matters. He spent his first summer working at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)--working on renewable energy projects and developing a strong network of contacts--and his second summer as a summer associate at the New Haven office of Wiggin and Dana.
The connections he made at all three organizations offered a solid foundation for his career. Going into his final year of law school, Miller had an offer from the firm.
As a first-year associate, Miller is developing a broad legal skill set and working on environmental projects for several partners. His plan is to focus exclusively on energy utility, land use and environmental projects. For Miller, the firm's emphasis on development for young attorneys was a key selling point.
"I was really fortunate to be offered a position at a firm with such a great reputation," he says.
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