Exploring life at Hogan Lovells with associate Stephanie Fishman

Our newest edition of the “Life at Hogan Lovells” series takes us to the United States, where associate Stephanie Fishman is championing the Energy Transition from the nation’s capital. After shifting from a technical role in nuclear energy to law, Stephanie offers a unique perspective on building a legal career in the energy sector. Discover what she sees on the horizon for innovation and diversity in this field. Read her insights below for more.

What attracted you to Hogan Lovells?

Having gone to law school with the very specific aspiration of becoming an energy lawyer, I always wanted to work with the Energy group at Hogan Lovells. The Energy group uniquely practices across the entire energy spectrum, from nuclear to natural gas, covering a diverse range of regulatory topics and complexities to navigate. And the matters handled by our team are at the forefront of energy innovation – driving critical energy legislation and policy that directly impact our daily lives. As an added bonus, previously coming from a nuclear career predominantly dominated by male colleagues, working alongside brilliant women at the firm, like Amy Roma and Mary Anne Sullivan, whose reputations in the field are unmatched, is hugely important and special to me.

What motivates you to work in the energy sector, specifically focusing on nuclear energy and its regulations?

The energy sector is a source of unending excitement; however, it is within the realm of nuclear energy and its regulations that I find a particular spark. Nuclear holds tremendous promise in addressing the world’s pressing energy and environmental challenges. Its ability to generate clean and abundant electricity, without greenhouse gas emissions, is a crucial tool in mitigating climate change. By focusing on this specific practice, I can actively contribute to licensing and permitting of new technologies, navigating technical regulatory questions, and helping to shape supportive policies that play a small role in ensuring the safe and responsible operation of nuclear facilities.

What trends or innovations in the energy sector are you most excited about?

The energy space is currently experiencing an exciting period of transformation. For nuclear, the once-stigmatized technology is gaining widespread support – dispelling misconceptions and ushering in a new era of innovation. For the first time, I am talking about the benefits of nuclear energy at the dinner table, the potential scalability of small modular reactors at cocktail parties, and seeing references to nuclear energy in social buzz and even in the New York Times crossword puzzle. Alongside the growing list of cool technological advancements, this change in public perception is what excites me most, and it allows me to engage with a broader audience (i.e., more than just my family and friends).

Can you describe a moment in your career that has been particularly rewarding or impactful?

In 2014 while managing a nuclear security project in the Kingdom of Jordan, I collaborated with U.S. and Jordanian officials to draft nuclear regulations for a then-new research reactor. Nuclear regulations are intricate and complex, requiring a deep understanding of the industry's technical, legal, and policy dynamics. I felt completely inspired and it was at this moment that I decided to go to law school to be an energy regulatory attorney.

More recently, I contributed to the firm’s effort to help people in Afghanistan obtain refuge or undergo the steps necessary to seek asylum. This involved around-the-clock document assistance such as working on Special Immigrant Visas, green cards, and passport applications. More than just the administrative piece, Amy Roma and I corresponded with U.S. officials on the ground to help families connect, board airplanes, and cross borders. While only a small piece of this larger effort, this work was indescribably rewarding and was a concrete reminder of the firm’s extensive reach and resources, and that I can both fulfil my professional energy law related goals while still taking on personally fulfilling initiatives.

Do you have any advice for women interested in law or the energy sector?

It is crucial to find women who are already doing what you aspire to achieve and make an effort to connect and be in their orbit. "If you can't see it, you can't be it." Being able to work with other women, who quite literally do it all – from running global practice groups, to representing an entire government agency, and who also maintain strong personal relationships – is immensely valuable.

Additionally, if you are interested in the energy sector, do not be intimidated by the technical component. While a science background is helpful, it is certainly not required.

Outside of work, how do you spend your free time?

I love playing outside with my two fluffy dogs, and have also recently dusted off my tennis game. If the sun is shining and we aren’t traveling, you can find my fiancé and me on a court in Capitol Hill pretending to be tennis champs. Stay tuned on if we cross over into pickle ball territory.

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