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Two UM Law Students Receive Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Scholarships

Posted December 4, 2009

Dom CossiDomenic A. Cossi and DarAnne R. Dunning, third year students at The University of Montana School of Law, are recipients of Spring 2010 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Scholarships. The Foundation awarded scholarships to seventeen students, selecting the students from 81 applications from students representing 23 law schools.

Organized in 1955 as a non-profit Colorado corporation, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is an educational organization dedicated to providing scholarly research of the laws and issues affecting domestic and international mineral and water resources. The goals of the Foundation are to foster and encourage a scholarly and yet practical study of the law and applicable regulations relating to oil and gas, mining, water, public land management, land use, conservation, environmental protection, and other related areas. To learn more, visit their web site at

The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Scholarship Program was established in 1993 to encourage the study of natural resources law by well qualified law students who have the potential to make significant contributions to scholarship in natural resources law.

Cossi grew up in Side Lake, Minnesota. Cossi attended the University of Minnesota as an undergraduate, with a degree in Journalism (summa cum laude) and a minor in Italian. He worked in marketing and politics for several years before deciding to attend law school. While at The University of Montana School of Law, he has served as an officer of the Environmental Law Group and as a member of the Honor Code Committee, Rural Advocacy League, and American Constitution Society.

Cossi is the founder and a board member of the non-profit Environmental Legal Education Network, which facilitates communication among environmental attorneys and educators in Montana and encourages environmental lawyers to mentor the UM Environmental Law Group.

After graduation, Cossi hopes to combine his love for business and the environment by working with companies or individuals on transactions related to alternative energy.  Ultimately, Cossi says he would consider his career a success if he played a role in enhanced use of sustainable energy sources.

DarAnne DunningDarAnne R. Dunning DarAnne grew up on her family's cattle ranch near Otter, Montana in southeastern Montana. She was a member of the fifth generation raised on the same ranch and grew up 40 miles from the nearest town. The area around her family's ranch is the center of conflict over coal and coal bed methane development, and it was that experience and interest in natural resources law that made her decide to attend The University of Montana School of Law. 

DarAnne attended UM as an undergraduate and received degrees in Philosophy and Communication Studies (Rhetoric and Public Discourse emphasis).  In law school, she has served as an officer with the Environmental Law Group and as Editor-in-Chief of the Public Land and Resources Law Review.  After graduation, she plans to practice natural resources law in Montana and to work in coal bed methane development and water law.