Amber Polk, who received her JD from the College of Law in 2016 and is set to defend her doctoral dissertation in Philosophy this year, has accepted an offer to become Stanford Law School’s next Teaching Fellow in Environmental Law and Policy. Her placement success and that of other students before her is a testament to the strength of the joint degree programs at the College of Law.
Amber said she chose to pursue her degree at the College of Law because of the JD/PhD in Philosophy program.
“It has always seemed to me that there is a natural intersection between law and philosophy. I pursued the joint degree because of my curiosity in the theoretical puzzles in the law and the insights into those puzzles that can be gained from philosophy, “ she said.
Amber credits the mentorship she received at the College of Law with putting her on the path to academia.
It was Professor Heidi Hurd who encouraged her to apply for the PhD during her 1L year and transition into a dual degree student. In the years that followed, Amber took seminars from Professor Hurd and Professor Michael Moore. They took Amber under their wing, and invited her to participate in several roundtable discussions and faculty idea dinners.
“Those events always reignited and reinvigorated my passion for intellectual discussion,” Amber said.
“They also provided me extensive experience interacting with law faculty, and other academics and scholars, at a professional and scholarly level. The understanding of and appreciation for scholarly community that I learned from Heidi and Michael was fundamental to my success in securing the Stanford Teaching Fellow position.”
Amber is also grateful to Professor Colleen Murphy, who serves on her dissertation committee and has been one of her recommenders on the job market, and other College of Law faculty who worked to secure her an adjunct teaching position this spring and provide feedback via a mock interview.
Amber’s new title at Stanford Law is Teaching Fellow, Program in Environmental Law & Policy and Lecturer in Law. Her appointment is for two years, with possible renewal for a third and final year. She will be teaching the Environmental Law and Policy Colloquium for the program's LLM students. The fall quarter is a seminar-style course on cutting-edge legal topics related to environmental law, and the students begin developing a capstone research paper on a contemporary environmental law issue. During the spring quarter, the students write and present their research papers.
She will also be responsible for day-to-day administrative management of the LLM program as well as advising and counseling LLM candidates on academic and personal issues. In addition, she will organize informal workshops, academic, and social events.