Joye Beth Spinks Joins ELPO as Associate Attorney
by Mandy Hicks
Joye Beth grew up in rural Warren County just outside of Bowling Green. Prior to going to law school, Joye Beth taught Biology and Environmental Science at Ohio County High School for four years. Joye Beth says, “My favorite part about teaching was showing students how scientific and environmental issues could impact their lives and their community.”
While teaching, Joye Beth 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 says.
Joye Beth 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 Joye Beth 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 says, “Small changes in language can have lasting effects on how a law is interpreted.” Joye Beth enjoys the challenge of analyzing complicated laws that affect clients and predicting how the language could be interpreted by a court.
Joye Beth previously clerked with ELPO during the summer and her last semester of law school. In addition to building on her experience with environmental law, Joye Beth 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.
Joye Beth is a proud 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. She says, “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.”
“We are so fortunate to have a lawyer with Joye Beth’s technical understanding of complex scientific issues and with experience in teaching,” says 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.”
Joye Beth 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.