Join Judith Earley as she interviews Cheryl Coon, Conservation Program Manager for the Audubon Society of Portland, OR. Coon has been practicing law for 29 years and specializes in environmental and marine law. As the conservation manager for her organization, Coon states, she basically is the unofficial go-to person for all legal issues and applies most of her legal expertise to her organization’s Endangered Species Act work. In the interview, she discusses the unique path she took to her current position, highlighting her personal passions for both nonprofit law and marine law.
Coon also discusses the challenges of working for a nonprofit environmental agency, stating that going up against the big legal players as a nonprofit attorney requires having a true passion for the work and a stomach for frustration because nonprofit organizations generally must work with low budgets, which means they have several obstacles to overcome. She emphasizes the importance of attorneys taking breaks from their work to make sure that they avoid becoming burned out or cynical about the legal field.