After conducting a retrospective analysis of biodiversity litigation, Sher came to the conclusion that the environmental movement desperately needed a capacity for integrating sophisticated litigation with political and communication strategies, something it entirely lacked at the time. Throughout his fellowship, he pursued his vision of a proactive integrated advocacy organization. To this end, the Legal Defense Fund created two new departments: political strategies and communications. These supplemented the organization's traditional and extensive litigation expertise. Sher also used Pew funds to support the work of Legal Defense Fund staff who worked under his supervision developing and implementing strategies to protect biodiversity, with an emphasis on water quality, Pacific salmon and marine biodiversity.
Victor Sher is the former president of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, a public interest law firm devoted to representing citizens' groups in litigation to protect and improve the environment. As the former managing attorney of the Northwest Office, Vic and his colleagues led court battles to protect the Pacific Northwest's ancient forests and the species dependent on that unique ecosystem. They also litigated numerous other cases to protect endangered ecosystems and species, public lands, water and air.
J.D., Stanford University
1980: Law, California, USA
Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College
KEY AWARDS & HONORS
1992: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
- Vartanyan, S.L., V.E. Garutt and A.V. Sher. 1993. Holocene dwarf mammoths from Wrangel Island in the Siberian Arctic. Nature 362(6418): 337
- Sher, V. 1991. Environmental law at risk. National Law Journal 13
- Sher, V. and C. Hunting. 1991. Eroding the landscape, eroding the laws: Congressional exemptions from judicial review of environmental laws. Harvard Environmental Law Review 15:435
- Sher, V. 1990. Ancient forests, spotted owls, and the demise of federal environmental law. Environmental Law Review (20): 10469
- Sher, V. and A. Stahl. 1990. Spotted owls, ancient forests, and congress: An overview of citizen's efforts to protect old-growth forests and the species that live in them. The Northwest Environmental Journal (6): 361