Skip Navigation

Website Sections

Michael Dworkin

Photo of Michael Dworkin.
Professor of Law, Director of Institute for Energy and the Environment

JD, Harvard Law School, 1978;
BA, Middlebury College, 1975

Phone: 802-831-1319


Professor Michael Dworkin often says: "If you care about the environment, energy use is the most important issue. And if you care about energy, environmental realities are the most important constraints."

Professor Dworkin was a utility regulator, environmental litigator, and small businessman before becoming a professor. At Vermont Law School, he also directs the Institute for Energy and the Environment. The Institute offers an advanced curriculum on energy and regulatory law, provides forums and conferences for professional education and issue development, publishes on environmental and energy issues, and serves as a center for commissioned research on these topics.

Professor Dworkin earned his BA degree, summa cum laude, from Middlebury College in 1975, and his JD, cum laude, from the Harvard Law School in 1978. He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Catherine Kelly of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. After his clerkship, he spent five years in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel, where he focused on the development and appellate defense of standards that reduced air and water pollution, including appellate defense of the rules that removed most toxic metals from U.S. waste streams. In 1984, he joined the Vermont Public Service Board, where he represented the Board in litigation before the Federal Communications Commission and as a hearing officer. From 1988 to 1995, he was general counsel of the Vermont Public Service Board. In 1995, he became general counsel and a managing partner in Riser Management Systems, LP, an engineering and consulting firm. He returned to public service in 1999 as the chair of the Vermont Public Service Board and remained in that post until 2005 when he joined the faculty at VLS and launched the Institute for Energy and the Environment. He is a director of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and a former director for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and of the Electric Power Research Institute. He has been elected as the moderator of East Montpelier, Vermont, Town Meeting since 2005 and he calls that role "a truly Norman Rockwell-esque experience."