Environmental Law Program

Beyond Hawai’i

Many of our graduates have begun careers beyond Hawai’i.

Virginia Tice

Virginia Tice – WSRSL Class of 2009 – General Counsel of Nature Iraq

Virginia Tice is graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 2009 with an Environmental Law Certificate. She then headed to Sulaymaniyah, Iraq to coordinate the Heartland Alliance’s child protection and human rights violations of institutionalized persons programs. The Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights is based in Chicago and looks to provide services for people living in poverty or danger to improve their lives and advocate for their human rights.

As interviewed in the St. Augustine Record in September 2010, Tice reported: “‘We have finished training juvenile detention center and prison social workers and supervisors throughout Iraq. We began six pilot projects for the implementation of new policies and procedures in psychiatric units throughout the country. We have collaborated with key stakeholders in creating policies and procedures for women’s shelters in the Kurdish region,’ explained Tice.
‘We provided legal and social services to 147 new juvenile cases through four local non-governmental organization partners in Baghdad, Erbil, Basra and Kirkuk and continued the Baghdad and Kurdistan branches of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill with the drafting and passage of a Mental Health Act in the Kurdish region.’”
Virginia was subsequently hired by Nature Iraq, the only environmental organization in Iraq. Virginia began as a volunteer to train serve as a legal consultant to Nature Iraq and the Iraqi Ministry of Environment.

According to the St. Augustine Record:

“Nature Iraq has received wide-spread coverage of its activities by news outlets including BBC and CBS for its work in restoring the Mesopotamian Marshlands in southern Iraq. Less than 20 years ago, the area was the third largest wetland in the world. The marshlands are thought to be the location of the Garden of Eden, the birthplace of Abraham, and the site of the great flood where Noah built his ark. The 20,000 square kilometers of expansive and self-sustaining wetland once teemed with aquatic life, water buffalo, and migratory birds. But Saddam Hussein, in a retributive frenzy of punitive policies against Shiites who rose against him in the Gulf War, drained, burned, and damned the marshlands to near oblivion,” Tice reported.

‘In less than 10 years of these policies, only a fraction remained. After the 2003 invasion, Nature Iraq and others stepped in to re-flood and restore the area.’

Tice said her work with Nature Iraq will begin by assessing the existing environmental laws of Iraq, comparing those laws with international environmental obligations and norms, and making recommendations to the Iraqi Ministry of Environment on what changes should be made.”

For the complete story see: Lorraine Thompson, Changing times in Iraq, St. Augustine. Com, Sept. 24, 2010, available at http://m.staugustine.com/living/religion/2010-09-23/changing-times-iraq.

Since the publication of this article, Tice has been promoted to general counsel of Nature Iraq.

Georgette Bello Concepcion

Georgette Bello Concepcion – WSRSL Class of 2000 – Attorney with Unpingco & Associates, L.L.C., Guam

Upon graduation from the William S. Richardson School of Law, Georgette embarked on a successful journey through many facets of the legal profession in Guam. Her biography available on the Upingco & Associates website summarizes her many accomplishments:

After graduating from law school, she clerked with the Honorable Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson at the Superior Court of Guam from August 2000 to September 2001. In February 2001, three weeks after having her first child, Georgette took and passed the Guam Bar Examination on her first attempt and was officially sworn in as an attorney on May 25, 2001.

In October 2001, Georgette joined the law firm of Mair, Mair, Spade and Thompson as an associate attorney where she practiced in the areas of contract, corporate, labor, banking and insurance defense law.

Next, in July 2003, she joined the non-profit law firm of Guam Legal Services Corporation as a staff attorney. There she worked as an attorney under the Domestic Violence program where the majority of her practice involved obtaining civil restraining orders for victims of domestic violence.

Thereafter, in August 2004, she accepted a law clerk position with the Honorable Michael J. Bordallo at the Superior Court of Guam. The challenge posed to Georgette was to clear a three year backlog of cases for Judge Bordallo. At the time, Judge Bordallo had a pending Decision and Order list down to less than thirty and at the same time she kept Judge Bordallo current on his Decisions and Orders during her tenure as his law clerk by efficiently completing new Decision and Orders taken by him under advisement. During this time, Georgette needed almost no supervision as she was a self-starter and because of the high quality of her work, Judge Bordallo often made little or no changes in adopting her work.

In December 2005, six weeks after having her second child, Georgette joined the Law Office of John S. Unpingco & Associates, LLC as an associate attorney. Georgette practices in the areas of business and corporate law, civil law, probate and family law.

Georgette is a member of the Guam and CNMI bar associations. She also has been admitted to practice law in the District Courts of Guam and the CNMI. Georgette has been married to Zachary Leon Guerrero Concepcion for twelve years and they have two children. She is the daughter of Robert Duenas and Josephine Bello-Duenas and the granddaughter of Dolores Guerrero Benavente Bello and Jose Buenconsejo Bello (deceased)

Source: http://www.ualawguam.com/DynamicPage.aspx?id=24