Founded in 1978, the Environmental Law Center is home to some of America's leading scholars, activists, and teachers in environmental law and policy. They served in government, nonprofits, corporations, and private practice before coming to the ELC, the top-ranked and largest graduate environmental law program in the nation. Working with students in a collaborative setting, these faculty experts are recognized for influencing environmental law and policy and training the next generation of America's environmental leaders. Vermont Law School is grateful to the late Laurence Rockefeller for his support of our faculty.The following faculty have been integral to the history and development of the ELC and their work continues to influence environmental law and policy nationally and internationally.
Richard Brooks, the founding director of the ELC, took it from concept to reality, sharing his passion for environmental stewardship and intellectual rigor along the way. He continues to influence the debate in Montpelier, Washington, D.C., and internationally.
Doug Costle, a former dean of VLS, helped create the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and served as EPA administrator under President Jimmy Carter. An admired leader in the environmental community, he also was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, and other federal agencies.
Michael Dworkin directs the Institute for Energy and the Environment, which serves as a national center for research on energy, the environment, and regulatory law. A former litigator with the Environmental Protection Agency, he served as chairman and general counsel of the Vermont Public Service Board.
Stephen Dycus is an internationally recognized authority on national security law and environmental law. He is the lead author of National Security Law (the field's leading casebook) and Counterterrorism Law, and was founding coeditor in chief of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy.
John Echeverria is one of the nation's top experts in takings law. He has served as executive director of the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, general counsel of the National Audubon Society, and general counsel and conservation director of American Rivers.
Jonathan Lash, a former director of the ELC, is president of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank based in Washington, D.C. He is recognized internationally for his expertise on sustainability, climate change, energy security, and resource, environment, and development policies.
Mark Latham is a nationally recognized expert in CERCLA (Superfund), environmental issues in corporate transactions and commercial real estate, and brownfields redevelopment. Before joining VLS, he represented as defense counsel businesses, municipalities, and individuals in state, federal, civil, and administrative enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other major environmental statutes.
David Mears was director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, whose faculty and student clinicians won a number of important victories for their clients under his leadership. Formerly at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Washington Attorney General's Office, he is now commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.
Marc Mihaly, one of the nation's leading environmental law attorneys, is director of the Environmental Law Center. He was cofounder and managing partner at Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger in San Francisco, where his practice included three decades of trial and appellate litigation practice on behalf of governments and community-based organizations on environmental issues.
Pat Parenteau, a nationally recognized expert in climate change, endangered species, and other areas, is a former director of the ELC and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. He has held senior positions at the EPA and National Wildlife Federation, and served as special counsel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the spotted owl exemption proceedings.
Karin Sheldon, former director of the ELC and associate dean for the environmental law program, played a key role in establishing the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. Now executive director of Western Resource Advocates, a nonprofit environmental law and policy organization, she also was president of the Wilderness Society and one of Ralph Nader's original "raiders."
Gus Speth, a pioneer of the American environmental movement, has served as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, chairman of the U.N. Development Group, chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality, and dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He cofounded the Natural Resources Defense Council and founded the World Resources Institute.
Norman Williams came to Vermont Law School in 1975 after a long and distinguished career in public service and teaching. One of the ELC's founders, he served as chief of New York City's Office of Master Planning and wrote extensively on land use, planning, historic preservation, and environmental law, including the eight-volume classic American Land Planning and the Law.
Tseming Yang, former director of the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, is on leave of absence to serve as deputy general counsel for international affairs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His research and teaching focus on U.S. and international environmental law, including environmental justice, global climate change, and China's environmental laws.