Sam Holmes ’22

Blue Dot Climate Insurance Group LLC, Washington, D.C.

I worked as a summer paralegal for Blue Dot Climate Insurance, a firm started by a group of environmental lawyers, including Williams alum Michael Hill ’80. Blue Dot creates and underwrites state-of-the-art insurance mechanisms for Brownfield cleanups and redevelopment, renewables, wetland preservation, and captives for longer term projects. My work for Blue Dot focused on wetland mitigation and the different financial assurance mechanisms in the industry today.

Sam Holmes at their computer.
Transferring my research on land conservation into an easy to read and understand legal memo.

I researched various parts of the financial assurance market, including learning about the Miscellaneous Receipt Act, and finding possible issues within some of the bonds and letters of credit that have been accepted as financial assurance for wetland mitigation in the past. I also researched the Administrative Procedures Act, the Army Corps of Engineers ability to create/follow their own guidelines, and the Supremacy Clause as it relates to the Clean Water Act. I was able to be in communication with district engineers from different Army Corps of Engineers Districts around the country.

I also worked on land conservation with Blue Dot’s legal counsel (a group operated by the same principal environmental lawyers), Alba Environmental Law & Risk Management, a nonprofit in Vermont. Much of the work that I did for Alba is being used in on-going litigation that is aimed at changing the Vermont ethical code and procuring more land to conserve. Already this summer the nonprofit has conserved 150 acres, with 200+ more acres hopefully being conserved in the coming months, and 1000+ acres over the next four years.

I believe that my internship experience, with Blue Dot and Alba, has given me incredible insight into the world of environmental law. I really enjoyed the research, both on wetland mitigation and land conservation, because it felt like I was working on putting together a huge puzzle by finding pieces that were hiding in the wrong boxes; and as I learned more and more through my research, I was able to bring the puzzle pieces together and slowly uncover what the picture on the puzzle was showing. I am not exactly sure what the post-graduate world holds for me, but this internship showed me that I would enjoy pursuing environmental law and helping people by changing laws to make them more ethical and eco-friendlier.

I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Case, for without your generosity I would not have been able to work with Blue Dot (and Alba) this summer and would have missed out on this great opportunity to learn more about the world of law and environmental law. I also want to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration.