February 21, 2024

2024 Wyss Scholar: Ian Connolly ’25 Focuses on Environmental Justice

Ian Connolly JD ’25 is one of two Wyss Scholars selected from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2024. The Wyss Foundation is a dedicated to land conservation. Ian plans to to leverage his education on behalf of wild places and communities across the west. 

Law student Ian Connolly ’25 grew up in Colorado less than a mile from the South Fork of the Platte River. As an undergraduate at Quest University in British Columbia, he studied human geography with a focus on the intersection of water policy, land conservation, and rural development. He is passionate about environmental justice and Western public lands, and is conscious of the exclusionary and oppressive history of environmentalism in the United States.

Through his work with community nonprofits and as multi-day river guide in Idaho, Ian has sought to develop a deep relationship with place and community, knowing the two are intertwined. He is presently pursuing a JD with a focus on environmental and Native American law, with the goal of working on collaborative solutions to complex issues. Ian continues to be involved with community environmental nonprofits, having worked with Idaho Conservation league, Advocates for the West, and Northwest Environmental Defense Center since beginning law school.

Despite the demands of a legal career, Ian hopes to return to spend time on the Salmon river and tributaries of the Columbia for years to come, and to leverage his education on behalf of wild places and communities across the West.


About the Wyss Scholars Program

Lewis & Clark Law School was selected in 2017 to be part of the Wyss Scholars Program. Funded by the Wyss Foundation, a private, charitable foundation dedicated to land conservation, the Wyss Scholars Program seeks to identify and support a new generation of leaders focused on land conservation issues. Lewis & Clark is one of only a few law schools in the country selected for this program.

Two Wyss Scholars are selected from Lewis & Clark Law School each year (as of 2022) on the basis of their leadership potential and academic strength and their commitment to furthering land conservation.