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Patrick A. Parenteau

Photo of Pat Parenteau.
Senior Counsel to Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and Professor of Law

LLM, George Washington University, 1975;
JD, Creighton University, 1972;
BS, Regis College, 1969

Phone: 802-831-1305


Professor Patrick A. Parenteau, formerly director of Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center and of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, has been involved in drafting, litigating, implementing, teaching, and writing about environmental law and policy for four decades. He is recognized for his expertise regarding endangered species and biological diversity, water quality and wetlands, environmental litigation, and global climate change.  His current focus is on confronting the profound challenges of climate change through his teaching, publishing, public speaking and litigation.

Professor Parenteau has an extensive background in environmental and natural resources law. His previous positions include Vice President for Conservation with the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, DC (1976-1984); Regional Counsel to the New England Regional Office of the EPA in Boston (1984-1987); Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (1987-1989); and Senior Counsel with the Perkins Coie law firm in Portland, Oregon (1989-1993).

Professor Parenteau holds a BS degree in business administration from Regis College; a JD degree from Creighton University; and an LLM in Environmental Law from George Washington University. He was a Natural Resources Law Fellow at Lewis and Clark. He has taught as an adjunct law professor at George Washington University, American University, Washington University, the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College and Dartmouth College. He served as special counsel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the spotted owl exemption proceedings in 1991-1992. In 1993, he returned to Vermont to assume the directorship of the Environmental Law Center, a position he held through 1998. In 2003, he helped found and directed the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at VLS, where he now serves as senior counsel. Professor Parenteau has lectured on environmental issues in the Czech Republic, Cuba, Russia, and China.

Professor Parenteau is the recipient of the National Wildlife Federation's 2006 National Conservation Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions to wildlife conservation and environmental education. In 2009, he was a co-recipient of the River Advocacy Award from the Connecticut River Watershed Council.