Peggy Otum and Rachel Jacobson Are Elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers

Peggy Otum and Rachel Jacobson Are Elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers

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Peggy Otum and Rachel Jacobson were elected fellows of the prestigious American College of Environmental Lawyers.

Ms. Otum is a partner and co-chair of the firm’s Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice, and is based in the firm’s San Francisco office. Ms. Jacobson is a special counsel based in the firm’s Washington DC office. They were among just 28 lawyers in the nation selected for the incoming class of 2020. 

Membership in the College is by invitation only and is given by peers to those who are chosen in recognition of leadership in environmental law. Members work to advance the ethical practice of environmental law; the administration of justice; and the development of environmental law at the state and federal level.

The lawyers “elected as Fellows to the College this year have earned this recognition based on the numerous contributions that—over many years—they have made in diverse areas of environmental law and policy,” said  Andrea Field, the College’s president. “Drawn from all parts of the country, they represent the very best environmental lawyers in government service, public interest, academia and private practice.”

Ms. Otum’s practice focuses on high-stakes environmental, health and safety issues that arise in a variety of contexts, including government enforcement, litigation, transactions and compliance counseling. In addition, Ms. Otum advises clients in the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties under both voluntary and government-mandated cleanups. She represents clients in environmental enforcement actions brought by federal, state and local authorities in jurisdictions throughout the United States, and in private party litigation involving contaminated property and worker safety issues. 

Ms. Jacobson advises clients with compliance challenges relate to state and federal environmental laws, including fuel emissions standards and emerging contaminants, Superfund cleanup, natural resource damages, endangered species and wildlife management, land use, and energy development. A seasoned litigator, she has worked throughout her career with federal agencies, states and tribes on issues ranging from oil spills and mining cleanup to water rights settlements. She joined the firm after more than two decades in federal government where she handled some of the largest environmental cases in US history and held senior positions in the Justice, Interior and Defense departments. Before joining the firm, Ms. Jacobson served as the Pentagon’s top environmental lawyer in the position of Deputy General Counsel of Environment, Energy and Installations.