BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Joye Beth Spinks has joined English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP as an associate attorney practicing in the areas of environmental law and civil litigation.
Spinks grew up in rural Warren County just outside of Bowling Green. Prior to going to law school, she taught biology and environmental science at Ohio County High School for four years.
“My favorite part about teaching was showing students how scientific and environmental issues could impact their lives and their community,” Spinks said.
While teaching, Spinks followed developments in both education policy and environmental policy closely, which prompted her to consider a career change.
“I had been teaching the effects of decades of changing environmental policy, but I wanted to learn more about the processes that make those changes,” she said.
Spinks got this opportunity while attending Boston University School of Law, where she worked for the chairperson of the Joint Committee for the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture in the Massachusetts Legislature. Working for a committee chair gave her an opportunity to be a part of the legislative process by drafting and redrafting bills for the committee.
“Writing a bill myself made me even more meticulous in my reading of statutes and regulations,” she said. “Small changes in language can have lasting effects on how a law is interpreted.”
Spinks enjoys the challenge of analyzing complicated laws that affect clients and predicting how the language could be interpreted by a court.
Spinks previously clerked with ELPO during the summer and her last semester of law school. In addition to building on her experience with environmental law, she also worked with ELPO partners on several civil litigation matters. She has assisted with cases involving negligence, medical malpractice, commercial leases, environmental enforcement, estate administration, insurance policies and covenants not to compete.
Spinks is a graduate of Warren East High School and knew she wanted to return to her hometown of Bowling Green after law school. She was drawn to ELPO’s strong Environmental and Civil Litigation Practices.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to take everything I’ve learned and use those skills to assist people and businesses right here in South Central Kentucky,” Spinks said.
“We are so fortunate to have a lawyer with Joye Beth’s technical understanding of complex scientific issues and with experience in teaching,” said ELPO attorney Buzz English. “Not only does she comprehend complicated environmental and legal issues, Joye Beth also knows how to explain these issues so that clients, judges, regulators and others understand them. We are very happy to have Joye Beth join our team.”
Spinks is currently a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and is the co-author of the Agricultural Management 2018 Annual Report for the American Bar Association Section of Energy, Environment, and Resources 2018 Year-in-Review.