Client-centered counselors 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, Esq - pa staff attorney
James is a staff attorney at Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services since 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.
Megan M. Hunter, Esq - ohio staff attorney
Born and raised in coastal North Carolina, Megan first came to Ohio in 2015 to join Fair Shake as a Resident Attorney. At Fair Shake and at her own firm Hunter & Hunter LLC, Megan has represented community groups, nonprofit organizations, and individuals on a host of environmental matters, including citizen suits, administrative appeals, and public records disputes. She has represented clients before Ohio's Environmental Review Appeals Commission, Ohio's Oil and Gas Commission, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and Ohio’s appellate and common pleas courts.
Prior to coming to Ohio, Megan was the Energy and Natural Resources Law Clerk for the Vermont Office of Legislative Council, where she drafted legislation pertaining to energy and environmental matters, counseled legislators, and worked closely with legislators and advocates to develop legislation to meet a wide array of goals.
In law school, Megan worked for Surfrider Foundation on local land use and zoning, public beach access, stormwater management, and drafting and defending local municipal ordinances. She also worked at the South Royalton Legal Clinic in law school, representing clients in family law, public benefits appeals, and asylum applications.
Megan earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, and Master of Environmental Law and Policy, magna cum laude from Vermont Law School, where she also served as Senior Managing Editor for the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. Megan holds a Master of Science in Applied Economics from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy from Barnard College. She is admitted to practice in Ohio, New York, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Megan loves spending time with her rambunctious children, adventures outdoors, art, music, dance, and time at the ocean. She’s also a licensed yoga instructor and hopes to one day be a licensed falconer (in the meantime, she settles for bird watching and tromping around in the wilderness with her two dogs).
Joshua Eisenfeld - marketing director
Josh is a communications specialist and filmmaker from Pittsburgh, PA with 7 years of experience in digital media production. He is a graduate of Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communication where he double majored in Television & Film and Biology with a focus in Environmental Science. During his time at Syracuse he worked on research in biodiversity in the scrub of Central Florida, testing how burn frequency affected species variance for a number of important insects and wrote his thesis on Colony Collapse Disorder, a disease that has devastated the North American Honey Bee population, and its downstream effects on the environment and society.
Josh began his career as a documentary filmmaker, traveling to Mozambique for a documentary on a musician who sings songs about water sanitation to children in remote villages. Josh co-founded 4TWELVE Pictures in 2013, a video production company specializing in digital marketing content. In 2016, 4TWELVE was acquired by Smith Brothers, one of Pittsburgh’s largest advertising and marketing agencies, where Josh joined as a Video Producer and Content Creator. He played a key role in communicating and developing brand identities through digital media for national brands like Nestle, Clasic, Olympic Stains, The Art Institutes, and Baskin Robbins as well as major local brands like UPMC, Grove City College and Magee Womens Research Institute. That same year he produced and directed an award-winning feature length documentary on Pittsburgh Youth Leadership, a non-profit that takes low income at risk youth on goal-oriented, awe-inspiring cycling trips across America.
When he’s not working, Josh enjoys the basic necessities of eating homemade food and spending time with the people and pets he loves most. In the summer you can usually find him outside with his dog Roupert who loves to camp almost as much as he does (he even has his own backpack!). Together they enjoy exploring the protected lands our country has to offer and learning more about how they can help keep them that way.
ryan hamilton, Esq. - Pa 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, conservation planning, and environmental law.
He regularly provides counsel and legal representation for individual property owners, nonprofits, and small businesses. He frequently speaks to community groups on topics related to environmental, land use, and natural resources law. Recent presentations and publications include,
Legal Updates in Conservation and Energy Development, Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference (May 18, 2019).
Advocating for Municipal Ordinances: How to Create Protections in Your Community, Hosted by Protect Our Children Coalition (July 28, 2018).
Guide to Oil and Gas Development for Citizens and Landowners, Hosted by Communities First Sewickley (January 10, 2018).
Basics of Oil and Gas Leases for Landowners, Hosted by Center for Coalfield Justice (September 19, 2017).
Imagine a Legal Services Incubator or Residency Program in Your Community, American Bar Association Equal Justice Conference (May 5, 2017).
“The Legal Incubator: Training Attorneys and Increasing Access to Justice,” Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Newsletter, At Issue (Winter 2017).
Ryan earned his law degree with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Ryan graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
Out of the office, Ryan volunteers as a board member of the Jacob’s Creek Watershed Association, the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy, and as Treasurer of the Solar United Network of Western Pennsylvania. He also enjoys mountain biking, gardening, and spending time with family in Pittsburgh’s North Hills.
He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania.
AndY Karas - OHio staff 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.
Jacob elkin - summer Legal Intern
Jake is a summer legal intern in our Pittsburgh office and a 2nd year law student at Columbia Law School. He is Pro Bono Chair of Columbia’s Environmental Law Society, Co-Chair of the Tenants’ Rights Project, and an active member of Columbia’s National Lawyers Guild Chapter and Environmental Moot Court Team. This past year, he interned in New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Environmental Justice Program and volunteered in Manhattan Legal Services’ Housing Intake Clinic. Next year, he will work in Columbia’s Environmental Law Clinic and serve as a Staff Editor on the Columbia Journal of Race and Law.
Jake grew up outside of Philadelphia. He received his B.A. in English Language and Literature, along with minors in Environmental Studies and Philosophy, from the University of Chicago. He enjoys hiking, reading, museum-going, and following the NBA.
Jesse Barrad, Summer Legal Intern
Jesse is a summer legal intern in our Pittsburgh office and a 3rd year law student at Wake Forest University School of Law. Before law school, Jesse spent his summers working as a sailing instructor at a summer camp on the Chesapeake Bay. He continues his involvement with youth programs as an active participant in Wake Forest’s “Know Your Rights” and “Teen Court” pro bono programs. Jesse also has experience working as an intern with Pittsburgh City Council and assisting the general counsel to a collection of agricultural businesses. Next year, he will work in Wake Forest’s Environmental Law Clinic and continue his work as a faculty research assistant. Focusing his education on environmental conservation, energy production, and sustainable urban development, Jesse will graduate with an MA in Sustainability in addition to his law degree.
Jesse received his B.A. in Politics & Philosophy, along with a minor in Creative Writing and certificate in Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Jesse is an avid Philadelphia sports fan, but he remains loyal to Pitt football and basketball. In his free time, Jesse enjoys camping, reading, playing basketball, and following the NFL.
Vanessa Goyes, Social Media Intern
Vanessa is the social media intern in our Pittsburgh office. She is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh about to complete her studies this December of 2019. She is double majoring in Political Science and Environmental Science. She is a member of Epsilon Eta, an Environmental Honors Fraternity that works towards a more sustainable future through environmentalist efforts. She was also a part of other environmental organization PennEnvironment, and is currently an active volunteer at Pitt's Students for Sustainability Organization. Next year, she hopes to continue her career in a field that relates to the cross roads of the environment and our government, and later pursue a law degree in Environmental Law.
Vanessa grew up on Long Island, New York. She was born in Riobamba, Ecuador and immigrated when she was three years old. Vanessa enjoys hiking, traveling, drawing, and being able to visit her family in Ecuador.
Sarah Donahey, Legal Intern
Sarah is an undergraduate legal intern at Fair Shake’s Pittsburgh office. She is about to start her senior year at the University of Pittsburgh. She is studying Environmental Studies with a dance minor, and is a part of the Pitt Ballet Club and Pitt Dance Ensemble during the school semesters. Sarah spends her summers working at Industry Public House. In her free time she enjoys traveling with friends and family. After graduation, she plans to focus on sustainability and conservation while working for a local environmental company, and hopes to open a Dance School in the near future.
Sarah is originally from State College, PA and is enjoying the geological, environmental, and cultural differences between her country hometown and new city community. She loves the outdoors and appreciates learning how to better conserve the beauty and health of the environment while living among it.
Blanche Helbling, Legal Intern
Blanche, a summer legal intern in Fair Shake’s Pittsburgh office, is a native to Western Pennsylvania and a rising 2L at University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. As a 1L, she was enthusiastically involved in the pro bono office’s Environmental Law Project, where she compiled research for local environmental groups and organized advocacy events for her peers. As a 2L, she will serve as the Vice Chair for the Environmental Law Project, work as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Law and Social Change, and continue to be an active member of the Women’s Association.
Blanche graduated from Albright College in 2015 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Photography. Prior to law school, she coordinated the Environmental Education program at Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, where she and a team of volunteers strived to engage Philadelphia students in meaningful conversations about litter, recycling, and community leadership. In her spare time, Blanche enjoys running, reading, and tending to her herbs; she dreams of the day that she has a full-fledged garden to call her own.