Dustin Wallen: Why I chose the Dual Degree Program

Dustin Wallen, 2010

Morehead State University
B.S. Biology

"Choosing the dual degree program in Urban Planning at UofL Law let me see that practicing law is not limited to inside courtrooms or offices. Some days my office is a muddy creek bed or an urban development site where I get to make a difference for communities by putting to use my understanding of land use and environmental law. I have been fortunate enough to work on projects related to climate change, water resource planning, sustainable development, and environmental justice. Interning at the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office provided exposure to public planning and regulation on local, state, and federal levels offering involvement with boards and agencies such as the Louisville Metro Climate Change Task Force and the Kentucky Division of Water. I had the opportunity to coauthor an E.P.A.-funded handbook on land use and water resources, Kentucky Wet Growth Tools for Sustainable Development; A Handbook on Land Use and Water for Kentucky Communities, making great use of the writing skills I honed at UofL Law.

The JD/MUP program helped me make effective use of legal tools in land-planning process and has shown me that practicing law is not limited to courtroom encounters but can be a vital part of regulatory processes. It takes teamwork to reach community goals and a land use and urban planning attorney can help find solutions to tough problems."