Austin environmental attorney Kinnan Golemon shared his experiences as a pioneer in his field with the Environmental Law Institute to commemorate Earth Day.

Golemon_Kinnan colorGolemon, a founder and past chair of the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, was one of 24 “environmental pioneers” the institute interviewed, compiling oral histories with individuals who inspired, created, and implemented national framework laws to protect public health and the environment, according to the organization’s website.

When Golemon was starting out in law school in 1964 after serving active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, a state senator and family friend told the aspiring lawyer he had no other choice than to become a pollution lawyer.

Why? “There aren’t any. And people don’t like smoke coming out of smokestacks and junk coming out of discharge pipes. And the world’s going to be changing. And they’re going to need people representing folks in that arena,” the official told a young Golemon.

The anecdote was one of many the man who has now spent more than 45 years in the field recalled to the Environmental Law Institute in the oral history video.

As a law student, Golemon worked for the Texas Water Pollution Control Board. He was later a partner in Brown McCarroll for more than 30 years where he practiced environmental law in the firm’s Austin office and served as general counsel to the Texas Chemical Council, according to the oral history.

To watch the full oral history from Golemon, now the founder and president of KG Strategies, visit the Environmental Law Institute’s website.

The Environmental Law Institute is a nonprofit focused on producing publications and research dedicated to fostering just and practical policy solutions.