Published: March 21, 2024
Oliver Skelly

University of Colorado Law School student Oliver Skelly ('25) is this year’s inaugural Conscience Bay Company Western Water Policy Fellow. The Conscience Bay Company Western Water Policy Fellowship, initiated in 2023 by leaders of the Conscience Bay Company, is awarded each year to a Colorado Law student on the basis of academic performance, commitment to public service, and interest in the study of Western water law and policy. To the extent practicable, each Conscience Bay Company Western Water Policy Fellow will focus on a specific project in advancing innovative solutions for sustainable management of water in the Western United States.

As a legal intern at Colorado Water Trust, Oliver helped develop a first-of-its-kind water and land valuation model, reviewed water sharing agreements, and wrote and briefed Trust staff on anything from the Sackett decision to the equity impacts of the 15-Mile Reach Project. In his current and former role as a law clerk at Trout Raley and Somach Simmons & Dunn, respectively, he has further refined his legal writing and research skills by drafting memos on tribal water rights settlements, geothermal regulations, the private right to condemnation, and many other issues within the Colorado doctrine.

Oliver’s personal and professional experience has given him the ability to view issues holistically, critically analyze them, then develop collaborative, considerate solutions. He is immensely passionate about the future of water in the American West, particularly Colorado’s role as a headwater state, and looks forward to the continuation of his work in this ever-changing landscape.