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DU Law Professor Goes to Washington

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Jon Stone

Media Relations Manager

Jon Stone

Justin Pidot to serve as deputy solicitor for Department of Interior

Dept. of the Interior

When the White House calls asking for your help, it’s pretty hard to say no. So when the U.S. Department of the Interior asked Justin Pidot if he’d be interested in serving as deputy solicitor for land resources, he decided why not.

Pidot was appointed earlier this month to the position and will work in Washington, D.C., until the Obama administration leaves office on Jan. 20 of next year. In his new role, the DU professor in the Sturm College of Law will serve as the primary lawyer providing legal advice to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) about its obligations with respect to surface resources. Pidot will manage a team of lawyers and will be one of six deputy solicitors reporting to Solicitor Hilary Tompkins.

I know this experience will enrich my teaching and provide me with valuable insights to share with my students and colleagues.

Prof. Justin Pidot, Sturm College of Law
Justin Pidot

“I am honored to have been asked to take on these responsibilities,” Pidot says. “It is a terrific opportunity for me to be able to have a direct and deep impact on natural resource law and also provides me with an incredible insider’s view of federal policy making.” Prior to coming to DU, Pidot was an appellate litigator at the Environment and Natural Resource Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He presented arguments in more than a dozen federal appellate cases and acted as the staff attorney on two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

BLM manages about 250 million acres of public land in the U.S., which makes up one-eighth of the country’s total landmass. In Colorado, the BLM manages 8.4 million acres of public land along with 29 million acres of subsurface mineral estate. “This is a very exciting time to be at the department,” Pidot says. “We are tackling some of the most important and pressing natural resources issues of our time.”

Pidot looks forward to applying what he learns in Washington to his classroom at DU when he returns in 2017. “I know this experience will enrich my teaching and provide me with valuable insights to share with my students and colleagues.”