Lawyer receives state honor
Posted October 2012
Marc Zeppetello '77, who earned a degree in resource management from ESF, has been recognized for the seventh time as a "Northern California Super Lawyer."
The honor showcases his "high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement," according to the publication Super Lawyers published by Thomson Reuters. The list is compiled through peer nomination and research; approximately five percent of the attorneys who are members of the Northern California bar received the distinction.
Zeppetello, an attorney with Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, LLP, in San Francisco, has extensive experience with counseling and litigation related to federal and state environmental laws. Much of his work focuses on the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, cleanup of contaminated property and cost recovery, hazardous waste management and land use.
"The training that I received at ESF is an integral part of my career today," he said.
His resource management background helped him gain a better understanding of the science and laws that deal with water and air pollution, and compliance with environmental laws. His work today requires him to review technical reports, evaluate environmental sampling results, consult with expert witnesses, and, occasionally, to perform site visits.
Zeppetello said helping his clients solve environmental problems, whether they are related to enforcement, compliance or cost effectiveness issues, is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job.
One of his most memorable experiences at ESF occurred during the fall semester of his junior year when he participated in a field program that brought students to Heiberg Forest in Tully. "We were in Heiberg multiple days per week combining traditional classroom learning with fieldwork," he said.
Zeppetello went on to graduate as valedictorian and then worked in the forestry field and as an environmental consultant where he applied the skills he had acquired at ESF. He continued his education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his Juris Doctor degree in 1985.
ESF students, he noted have a built-in advantage in charting their career paths because strong science courses and opportunities to practice in the field provide a solid foundation for stepping from college into a job. He offered this advice for today's students: "Find summer internships that interest you so you will be able to refine your career plan while gaining real-life experience that employers are looking for."