David D. Mitchell, JD ’10, LLM ’18, published his LLM thesis in the December 2018 issue of the Environmental Law Reporter. “Preventing Toxic Lead Exposure Through Drinking Water Using Point-of-Use Filtration,” provides a comprehensive treatment to the problem of lead in drinking water and a practical, workable solution.
Mr. Mitchell says, “lead in drinking water is a persistent problem across the United States. Children are especially susceptible to the severe impacts of minimal lead exposure. The public is woefully uneducated to the severity of this problem, but in truth, a Flint, Michigan level crisis can arise in any community with lead in the drinking water infrastructure and privately owned plumbing. I hope that my article is used to educate people on the very real dangers of lead in drinking water, the limited safeguards provided by federal law, and the simple, affordable, and effective way for people to protect themselves using point-of-use filtration. I also hope that my article supports public policy initiatives to promote point-of-use filtration.”
Mr. Mitchell returned to GW Law in 2017 after being selected by the Air Force to complete an LLM in conjunction with his military service. “I chose environmental law because I am interested in environmental policymaking and practicing environmental law. It is also related to the work of Families Against Chemical Toxins (FACT), a non-profit that my wife and I run.” He plans to use his LLM research to further FACT's mission of educating the public about the problem of lead in drinking water and to help move policy toward implementing filtration solutions.
He says his studies at GW Law prepared him to practice environmental law as an Air Force agency counsel and detailed Department of Justice trial attorney in the Environmental Defense Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The substantive course law gave me a strong introduction to the major environmental law statutory and regulatory schemes. Elective coursework prepared me to handle jurisdiction and procedural issues in federal litigation, as well as transactional issues related to environmental law. The LLM has been essential to my ability to practice law.”
Mr. Mitchell is now a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force serving as an environmental litigation attorney. His wife, Jennifer Mitchell, is a Professorial Lecturer of Law at GW Law in the legal research and writing program and a Judge Advocate reservist in the Air Force.
*The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Mitchell and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Defense, or U.S. government.