Skip Navigation

Website Sections

Douglas Ruley

Director of Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, Associate Professor of Law

JD, Harvard Law School, 1987;
BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1983

Phone: 802-831-1136


Douglas A. Ruley is the director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic. He has litigated multiple environmental cases over the past two decades. He began his career with a federal court clerkship, followed by five years as a litigation associate at Tharrington & Smith in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1993, he became a staff attorney for Earthjustice in Juneau, Alaska, and brought cases to protect Alaska's great rainforests and to conserve the marine resources of the Bering Sea. He returned to North Carolina in 1999 to open the Asheville office of the Southern Environmental Law Center, where he litigated cases involving the forests and biodiversity of the Appalachians, air and water pollution, and transportation and land use.

In 2010, Professor Ruley was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Slovenia, where he taught climate change law and appellate advocacy at the law school of University of Ljubljana. He returned to the United States in 2011, became certified as a specialist in appellate law, and began a practice focused on appellate representation and climate consulting.  He became the director of the ENRLC in April 2012.

Professor Ruley graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, in 1987 and earned his bachelor's degree with highest honors in economics and chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983.