Graduating Student Receives Honorable Mention for Environmental Law Article

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Rebecca Susko ’18 has received an honorable mention for the Environmental Law Institute’s 2017-2018 Henry L. Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition for her paper that addresses the complicated relationship between the First Amendment and the implementation of mandatory environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure regimes for corporations.

Susko’s article, “The First Amendment Implications of a Mandatory Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Disclosure Regime,” argues that, in order for U.S. regulators to implement a mandatory ESG disclosure regime, the court must clarify the First Amendment jurisprudence on compelled commercial speech. Currently, conflicting treatment of compelled corporate disclosures has contributed to the unsuccessful implementation of such mandatory regimes, which would promote responsible corporate behavior.

“I want to see stronger and more effective regulations,” said Susko.

Susko’s interest in the field began in her 2L year when she attended a corporate sustainability symposium, and it continued to grow through courses on environmental deal making and corporate social responsibility.

“It’s wonderful to see Fordham as a leader in this field,” said Susko. “The courses at Fordham have been important to me and instrumental to the development of my own position within the field.”

She adapted a class paper into a version suitable for submission to the national competition, which invites law students to explore issues at the intersection of constitutional and environmental law, and which sees experienced attorneys as the submissions’ reviewers and judges. Susko’s paper will be published in the Environmental Law Reporter, the Environmental Law Institute’s flagship journal that is one of the most-cited law reviews about environmental and natural resource problems.

Next year, Susko will work at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, working on the energy side of environmental sector.

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