Alumna Erica Mattison JD’13 was concerned about the possible dangers of rising tides caused by global climate change even before she graduated and became legislative director of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.

As a Suffolk Law student, Mattison wrote about the need to develop a better understanding of these risks in a commentary published in the Rappaport Briefing, which offers a collection of student essays on issues confronting state and local government in Massachusetts. In addition, as a law student, Erica interned with state Sen. Will Brownsberger and helped draft legislation calling on Massachusetts to convene an advisory committee on flood risks.

Mattison’s efforts came to fruition this month when the legislation was signed into law.

The legislation calls for the secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to compile a sophisticated analysis of expected climate impacts and work with state agencies responsible for valuable infrastructure, such as roads, mass transit, and energy, to develop some consensus about likely scenarios and how to prepare for them. This analysis will assist the commonwealth in prioritizing and planning investments to protect these valuable resources on which so many people depend.

The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School prepares lawyers for leadership in public service and provides a regional forum for innovative thinking about law and public policy. The Rappaport Briefing blog also presents news about Rappaport Center activities.