News - Capital University Law School

CapLaw Represents: Matt Bockey Making a Difference in Nepal

4/16/2018  - 

Matt Bockey, L’12, had never traveled outside of North America when he graduated from Capital University Law School. But after receiving his J.D., he remedied this gap in his experience in a major way: He spent the next four years in Nepal working as a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps.

Matt’s background might not have suggested that he would one day become such an intrepid world traveler. He hails from the small Ohio community of Delphos, where he grew up on his family’s farm. Matt graduated in 2008 from Wright State University in Dayton, and then chose to come to Capital because he wanted to attend a law school that was fairly close to home.

Once at Capital, Matt’s interest in political science and love for the environment really helped him to blossom intellectually.

“I enjoyed learning about environmental policy in Professor Hirsch’s environmental law and Clean Air Act classes,” he recalls. “Those courses showed me the practical and theoretical hurdles that have to be cleared if we want to maintain a healthy planet.”

And Matt came away from his Constitutional Law courses appreciating an area of the law that is often anathema to law students: the Commerce Clause. Matt wrote and published in the Capital University Law Review a paper on why the Endangered Species Act was validly enacted by Congress under its power to regulate interstate commerce. Since it was published, that piece has been referenced by various commentators, including the respected treatise, American Jurisprudence 2nd.

In Nepal, an Asian nation located between Tibet and India, Matt’s work with the Peace Corps meshed nicely with his interest in protecting the environment. Matt worked with farmers in the country of Nepal as a Food Security volunteer, teaching them how to utilize sustainable agricultural practices. He also helped the Nepalese to construct improved stoves that used less wood fuel and did not create as much pollution.

In his spare time, Matt enjoyed Nepal’s spectacular sights and diverse wildlife, observing such rare animals as tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, and countless exotic birds. He says that much of this biological wealth is due to Nepal’s unique topography, “with elevations going from about 180 feet above sea level to the top of Mount Everest.”

Nepal also was good for Matt personally: He met his future wife, Apeksha Shahi, during his four years there.

Last year, Matt and Apeksha moved back to the United States so that Matt could return to school and obtain an LLM in environmental law from Vermont Law School. He will graduate this summer and hopes to use his dual legal degrees to work to help preserve our environment and protect the marvelous creatures from around the world that he has come to love.

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