Daniel J. Curtin Fellows

2012-2013

Melissa Conrad-AlamMelissa Conrad-Alam

University of Georgia
J.D. Candidate, 2014

Melissa is a second year law student at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. While staying in the top 10% of her class, Melissa serves as a member of the UGA Moot Court Team and the Editorial Board of the Georgia Journal for International and Comparative Law, one of the country's oldest student edited law journals. This spring she will travel with the Moot Court team to Vienna to participate in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. And last summer, she served as the sole legal intern for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.

Prior to law school, Melissa served as an independent consultant assisting nonprofits and local governments with public policy campaigns and community development projects, including developing and implementing a three month community engagement plan for the Preservation of Pittsburgh engaging more than 1,000 residents in land use planning efforts. Melissa also served as the Associate Director for Georgia Stand-Up, "A Think and Act Tank for Working Communities". In her role at Georgia Stand-Up, she was responsible for leading the BeltLine Community Benefits Campaign, which led to the passage of historic legislation in the City of Atlanta requiring that all projects receiving public subsidies from the $2.8 billion economic development project include community benefits, such as local hiring and workforce development programs. Resulting from those campaign efforts, historic legislation was also passed regarding affordable housing requirements, local hiring and workforce development standards.

In October 2010, Melissa was recognized as one of Georgia Trend Magazine's Top 40 under 40 Georgians. She has also been honored with a STAND-UP and Act Award from Georgia STAND-UP and Policy Leader of the Year from the Younger Women's Taskforce of Atlanta. She participated in multiple training programs, including the International Association of Public Participation's certification for public participation professions and the Atlanta Regional Commission's Community Planning Academy. She also served on a number of committees for the City of Atlanta, including the BeltLine Tax Allocation District Advisory Committee and the Atlanta Community Land Trust Collaborative Development Committee.

Melissa lives in Clarkston, Georgia along with her husband, Asim, and their two dogs Morrissey and Annabelle Lee.

2011-2012

Abby Kirkbride Abby Kirkbride

University of Colorado
J.D. Candidate; Master's of Urban and Regional Planning, 2013

The 2012 Planning and Law Division Curtin Fellow is Abby Kirkbride. Abby is in her third year of the Juris Doctor / Master of Urban and Regional Planning joint-degree program at the University of Colorado. Her primary professional interest is the exploration of land use issues in the local government context. Abby has completed internships with a Wyoming-based nonprofit where she studied oil and gas issues, and with Clarion Associates where she drafted zoning codes. Currently, she is an intern for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, working on an initiative to increase the amount of local foods in K-12 schools. Abby serves as a student delegate to APA's Colorado Legislative Committee, and is a member of the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy and APA's Student Representatives Council. Abby is a native of Wyoming, where she grew up on her family's cattle ranch. She attended college at John Brown University in Arkansas, graduating cum laude with degrees in history and journalism. She currently lives in Denver with her husband. Abby will work on several Division initiatives, and she has already begun work on membership recruitment efforts.

2010-11

Leslie (Lee) Wellington

Brooklyn Law School, J.D. Candidate, 2013
Pratt Institute, M.S. in City and Regional Planning Candidate, 2013

I was honored to have been selected as a PLD Fellow. The fellowship gave me the opportunity to meet with leading academics and practitioners working towards more sustainable and thoughtful land use policies across the country. As a fellow, I was able to assist with planning and outreach for the National APA conferences in Boston and Los Angeles, and work on content development for the PLD blog. I also look forward to sitting on the Fellowship Selection Committee and contributing to the PLD newsletter. I am thankful for this experience, as it has reinforced my decision to pursue a career at the intersection of land use and community development.

2009-2010

Ian Morrison

University of Washington School of Law
J.D. Candidate, 2012

My PLD fellowship was incredibly enjoyable and solidified my interest in the confluence of planning and law.  My primary project was working with PLD lawyers to author a summary of recent litigation where APA chapters filed amicus briefs for the APA Conference. Attending the APA Conference in New Orleans was the highlight of my fellowship. It was wonderful to learn from the Bettman Symposium, meet national PLD leaders, and hear the perspective of planning policymakers like HUD Secretary Donovan and EPA Administrator Jackson. Additionally, I researched and blogged on Pacific Northwest transfer of development rights (TDR) program innovations and recent sign code litigation in Washington State for the PLD website. The PLD fellowship provided an incredible academic and professional experience.  I plan on continuing my PLD engagement in the future.


Jessica Morgan

University of Colorado
J.D. Candidate, 2012; Master's in Urban Design & Planning, 2007

I was very honored to be selected as a Daniel J. Curtin Fellow for the 2009-2010 academic term.  It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with the PLD board, and gain valuable insight into the intersection of law and planning. My activities included drafting and executing an online PLD membership survey aimed at better understanding PLD members' needs and areas in which the PLD can improve. I also contributed web content to the PLD website. The PLD is committed to providing a valuable service to the planning community and I was grateful to contribute to that effort.

2007-08

Dorothy Ariail

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Master's in City Planning, Juris Doctor, 2009

As a PLD fellow this year, I compiled information on CLE certification for the annual APA conference in order to ensure that participating attorneys received CM credit for their participation. I also conducted a national survey of the law and application of the tests for area and use variance standards for Professor Patty Salkin and contributed research and summaries of planning and legal concepts for the PLD website. I have learned so much from this experience, and I am extremely grateful and honored for the opportunity to have interacted with such a motivated and dedicated group of people.


Kennetha Gaines

University of California, Los Angeles
Master's in African American Studies, 2007; Master's in Urban Planning, 2008

I am truly honored to have been selected as a PLD fellow for the 2007-08 academic year. At the APA conference in Las Vegas, I met and interacted with exceptional members of the Planning and Law Division. As a PLD fellow, my primary duties included researching state, regional and local initiatives across the country such as California's AB-32 regarding climate change. Additionally, I researched federal and state land-use law decisions that pertain to federal statues such as RLUIPA, ADA and the Telecommunications Act. Currently, I am working on a publication for the PLD newsletter with regard to AB-32 and SB-375. This was a great opportunity for me and I hope to stay an active member with the PLD.

Spring 2007

David Gest

University of Pennsylvania
Master's in City and Regional Planning, 2010
Columbia University
Juris Doctor, 2010

Fellowship Experience

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as Daniel J. Curtin Fellow for the 2007 Spring semester. The fellowship exposed me to diverse elements of the planning and law field, and I met many land use lawyers and planners who graciously taught me about their profession and gave me advice on my own career. I completed four major tasks as a fellow: work on the PLD website, drafting a memo on a potential case for the Amicus Committee, summarizing major land use cases for publication on the PLD website, and assembling information regarding Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for attorneys from different states (and administering CLE forms at the APA National Planning Conference in Philadelphia).


Chris Melendrez

University of New Mexico School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2008

Fellowship Experience

I am extremely honored to have been chosen as a Planning and Law Division Fellow. It gave me the opportunity to meet several great people and reassured me that despite my relative isolation as a future planning and land use attorney in New Mexico, there is great promise and need for me and others like me.

Fall 2006

Katherine Fischer Cote

University of Washington
Master's in Urban Planning, 2007

Fellowship Experience

My experience as a PLD Fellow was an enjoyable way to learn more about the intersection of planning and law. I completed two projects during my fellowship term. First, during National Planning Month in October 2006, I coordinated PLD's participation in an APA initiative to broaden public knowledge of planning issues by bringing public service announcements to the radio airwaves. Second, I researched PLD membership in my home state of Washington and wrote an article in the Washington State APA newsletter highlighting PLD membership and activities and briefly describing current topics of planning and law.


Diana Varat

University of California, Los Angeles
Master's in Urban Planning and Juris Doctor, 2008

Fellowship Experience

As a PLD Fellow, I had the privilege of working with the many talented lawyers and planners on the PLD Board. My primary activities included writing an article for California Planner, to introduce the California Chapter of the APA to the efforts and activities of the PLD. I also researched how the PLD could receive certification for its seminars and conferences to ensure that attorneys who attend PLD events receive continuing legal education credits. I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with the current PLD Board and I look forward to being actively involved again in the future!

Spring 2006

Gwendolyn Allen

University of Maryland School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2008
St. Louis University
Master's in Urban Planning, 2003

Fellowship Experience

I helped to ensure that attorneys attending the Bettmann Symposium at the 2006 Annual APA Conference could earn Continuing Legal Education Credits. We were successful in having the symposium accredited in Texas and California, and I contacted various other states to gather information and the necessary forms to share with attorneys from other states to submit to their Bar Associations. My PLD experience culminated leading up to and during the 2006 conference by helping to prepare reports, coordinating arrangements for the Division meeting, attending leadership meetings, and getting to know some of the incredible members and leaders of PLD!


Erin Elizabeth Hupp

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Juris Doctor, Master's in Planning

Fellowship Experience

My experience as a PLD fellow fortified my interest in both planning and law. During my fellowship term, I designed, executed and compiled the 2006 PLD online member survey. I also attended the annual PLD meeting at the National APA Conference in San Antonio, Texas. My fellowship was enjoyable and educational because of the committed PLD board that I was fortunate enough to work with. I hope to continue my involvement with PLD for years to come.