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Bella Sewall Wolitz

Adjunct Professor of Law

B.A., Harvard; J.D., Yale

Bella Sewall Wolitz is a lawyer specializing in transboundary water resources and federal Indian law. She has negotiated major legislation on behalf of the Secretary...

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Bella Sewall Wolitz is a lawyer specializing in transboundary water resources and federal Indian law. She has negotiated major legislation on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior and served as lead agency counsel on several Supreme Court cases involving interstate conflict over water resources.

Professor Wolitz has served in both the Office of the Solicitor and the Office of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior. At the Office of the Solicitor, she advised the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Reclamation on irrigation project operations, water rights, NEPA and ESA compliance, and general Indian law. Professor Wolitz was lead agency counsel in Penobscot Nation v. Mills, federal litigation over tribal fishing rights and reservation boundaries in Maine, currently pending before the First Circuit. In the Office of the Secretary, she coordinated the Department’s legislative programs with the White House and federal agencies. She drafted legislative proposals and prepared officials for congressional hearings. Professor Wolitz worked with the Secretary’s Indian Water Rights Office to negotiate numerous Indian water rights settlements. In addition to several agency STAR awards, she received the Solicitor’s Excellence Individual Award, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, and Department of Justice’s Certificate of Commendation. Prior to law school, Professor Wolitz worked for the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington DC.

Professor Wolitz graduated from the Yale Law School, where she was the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of International Law. She received the Ambrose Gherini Prize and Colby Townsend Prize, as well as a Boren National Security Fellowship to study language and environmental security in Central Asia. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Denise Johnson on the Vermont Supreme Court. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University.

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