Client-centered counselors and advocates for your environmental needs.
EMILY A. COLLINS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND MANAGING ATTORNEY
Hailing from southern Tuscarawas County, Ohio, Emily has spent her 14-year legal career in environmental law practice and teaching. Kicking off her practice as a student at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic in 2003, she then became an Assistant Public Interest Counsel at the Office of Public Interest Counsel in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. In 2008, she took the helm of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Environmental Law Clinic as a Clinical Assistant Professor. She became a Clinical Associate Professor in 2013. In the same year, she founded Fair Shake ELS. In 2014, she became the Executive Director and Managing Attorney.
Emily received her B.A. in 2001 from New York University's Gallatin School. She earned her J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2004. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas (inactive), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Emily has published in law journals and is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship in legal practice, water law, oil and gas law, underground injection of wastewater, public participation in environmental decision-making, and environmental permitting and enforcement. Her publications include Permitting Shale Gas Development, 29 J. Land Use & Envtl. L. 117 (2013); New Withdrawals, New Impairments as Pennsylvania Develops the Marcellus Shale, American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2010 Eastern Water Resources Conference, May 20-21, 2010; and The "Public Interest" Factor in Waste Disposal Well Permitting, 38 Tex. Envtl. L. J. 229 (2008). In 2016, she was named to the inaugural Irish Legal 100: 40 Under Forty honoree list, a compilation of rising stars of Irish descent in the U.S. legal profession. She is also the recipient of the 2014 Nicholas A. Robinson Alumni Achievement Award from Pace Law School.
Emily is an Instructor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences. She teaches a course entitled Environmental Science, Ethics & Public Policy. Her volunteer activities include membership on the Board of Directors of Construction Junction and the Haymaker Farmers' Market; membership on the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Environmental and Energy Law Section Council; membership on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Justice Advisory Board; and membership on the Portage Park District Foundation Board of Directors.
Emily enjoys ultrarunning, cycling, skiing, woodworking, farming, gardening and spending as much time as possible with her pups, Bruno and Iza.
JAMES YSKAMP, Ohio Supervising attorney
James started as a staff attorney at Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services in October of 2014. While at Fair Shake, James has represented clients on a sliding fee scale in a wide variety of environmental civil matters, including cases arising under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and state and federal mining statutes and regulations.
James is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While in law school he interned at the Environmental Law Clinic where he gained experience with client counseling and various issues in coal and natural gas development. This experience included permit reviews, negotiations involving replacement water supplies, and citizen suit enforcement. James also worked for a private law firm during law school where he gained litigation experience in plaintiff related matters in oil and gas development, including private property contamination and oil and gas lease related issues.
James earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in psychology and human resource management from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. Before attending law school he worked as a counselor at a residential treatment center, a legal assistant for a sole practitioner, and a laborer for an oil and gas company specializing in installing environmental rig mats for gas well pads.
James has given community education presentations and presented CLE seminars in subjects involving environmental law. He teaches a course in Environmental Law at the University of Akron.
James has a rare talent in fishing, and is still waiting on an acceptable professional sponsorship that includes an Allison XB-2002 bass boat. Until then, he accepts free boat access from the general public. In no particular order, he is a frequenter of Northeast Ohio’s parks, restaurants, and breweries. He also has a passion for local bookstores, and often falls asleep reading science fiction because, yes, he is a dreamer.
James is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and Ohio and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. James is an active member of the Akron Bar Association and their Real Property and Environmental Law section.
ryan hamilton, Pennsylvania supervising attorney
Ryan rejoined Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services after completing our Residency Program and launching his own law firm, Hamilton Law LLC. In taking the Supervising Attorney position in our Pittsburgh office, Ryan brings experience in land use and zoning, oil & gas development, energy law, environmental law and community development law.
Ryan is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association Environment and Energy Law Section. He volunteers on the City of Pittsburgh Neighborhood Conservation Districts Working Group, as Treasurer of the Solar Unified Network of Western PA and sits on the Pennsylvania Solar Center Advisory Council. In June 2017, Ryan was named in the Incline’s: Who’s Next: Law, as one of 12 Pittsburghers shaping the legal community. He frequently speaks to community groups on topics related to environmental, land use, and natural resources law.
He earned his law degree with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. During law school, he interned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Integrity Project, and the Freshwater Trust. Ryan also volunteered with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
Ryan is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Emma hempstead, Resident Attorney
A 2010 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder in Sociology, Emma earned her JD in 2014 at Vermont Law School, where she worked for the Center for Agriculture & Food Systems and the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Clinic. She has worked on food systems issues with the Vermont Right to Know Coalition, the Natural Resources Defense Council's Regional Food Team. She is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Vermont, where she ran a solo practice serving small farmers and food businesses in transactional law.
In 2017, Emma earned her LL.M. degree through the University of Arkansas' Agriculture and Food Law Program, where she was a teaching assistant on Urban Agriculture and served as a moderator for the American Agricultural Law Association's first panel on Climate Change. As an extern at NRDC's regional food team, she led projects on the Federal Enhanced Tax Deduction for Charitable Donations of Food, and conducted research on gender and race demographics in the federal agricultural budget.
Emma is located in Fair Shake’s Pittsburgh office.
Emma grew up internationally, speaking tolerable French and less tolerable Spanish and Mandarin. She roasts a chicken every Sunday and is an avid home cook, gardener, reader and mediator.
AndY Karas, RESIDENT ATTORNEY
Andy’s practice encompasses a wide range of environmental matters, with an emphasis on pollution control law and citizen suits. Additionally, his practice involves improving access to justice in the context of civil rights litigation and criminal defense, particularly arising out of instances of protest or direct action. He is a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America, is affiliated with DSA’s Legal Working Group, as well as being actively involved with his local DSA chapter in Akron. He is additionally a member of the National Lawyers Guild.
Andy rejoins Fair Shake after having interned at the organization during his time at the University of Pittsburgh School of law. Prior to his graduation in 2015, he worked as a staff editor for the school’s Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law, and was involved with Ground to Government, a student organization that provided legislative support to local urban agriculture stakeholders.
Prior to joining Fair Shake, Andy served as a law clerk to the Honorable Oliver J. Lobaugh of the Court of Common Pleas of Venango County, Pennsylvania. There, he worked on a wide range of litigation spanning multiple bodies of substantive law, ranging from complex civil litigation, criminal proceedings, as well as family and estate planning matters. While there, he also served as the Venango County Bar Association’s treasurer and sat on several of the Association’s Local Rules Committees.
Before law school, Andy studied political science at the University of Akron, from which he graduated cum laude in 2011. He is native to Western Pennsylvania, and becoming increasingly native to Northeastern Ohio.
Andy is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He is located in our Ohio office.
Nathan hunter, resident attorney
Nathan was born in Washington, DC and spent much of his young life in Louisville, KY. He earned his law degree at Vermont Law School, where he also earned a Master of Environmental Law and Policy. During law school, Nathan interned at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, where he worked on a wide array of matters including land use, wildlife management, property disputes, air pollution, and energy law. While earning his degrees at VLS, Nathan focused his studies on a variety of areas of environmental law and led a bluegrass/Americana band.
Nathan’s preparation for law school included his study of political economy and environmental science at Georgetown University. He also obtained extensive litigation experience as a paralegal, working on matters ranging from environmental law to franchise law and fraud. While a paralegal, Nathan managed large document databases in complex litigation matters, assisted at trial, and worked with expert witnesses.
In addition to work in the legal field, Nathan has been employed as a data analyst, a ski instructor, and a dogsled guide in the Pacific Northwest. He is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hiking, backpacking, cycling, and skiing. He is also an enthusiastic musician, both a classically trained pianist and a self-taught accordionist and country/folk musician.
Nathan intends to develop a practice serving the environmental and other legal needs of modest means individuals and organizations in the mountains of West Virginia, where he spent significant time during his childhood. His practice will likely focus on land use, energy law, family law, and personal injury.
Nathan is licensed to practice law in Ohio, New Hampshire and Kentucky. He is located in our Ohio office.