Professor Richard Brooks, founding director of Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center, is an internationally recognized scholar of environmental law and policy. The courses he has taught at Vermont Law School include Air Pollution Law, Coastal Management Law, Comparative Law, Environmental Law, Environmental Ethics, Land Use Law, Population Law, Professional Responsibility, and Torts. He also served as the coordinator of Vermont Law School's Foreign, International and Comparative Law Program.
Professor Brooks earned his BA degree in 1956 and his MA degree in social and political philosophy in 1958, both from the University of Chicago. He received his LLB degree from Yale Law School in 1962 and his PhD degree in planning from Brandeis University in 1974. His legal career began as an associate with Parker, Badger & Fisher in Greenwich, Connecticut, and as director of program analysis and legal counsel with Community Progress, Inc., in New Haven. He served for three years as executive director and legal counsel with Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc., and for 10 years as an urban legal planning consultant. From 1971 to 1978, he maintained a private law practice, taught planning and law at the University of Rhode Island, and directed the Connecticut College Urban Studies Program. During that time, he argued a case for the Natural Resources Defense Council that upheld the Connecticut coastal management permitting program, and drafted legislation, revisions, and amendments for state and municipal coastal zone management.
Professor Brooks founded Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center in 1978 and remained its director until 1990. Throughout his career, he has served as a consultant for environmental groups, state of Vermont agencies, and for the U.S. Department of Energy. He has served since 1980 as a visiting professor in environmental studies at Dartmouth College and as a visiting professor of law at McGill and the University of Trento. In the past decade, as emeritus, Professor Brooks has turned to his first love - the classics - and explored their relations to modern law in several volumes.
With Melissa Scanlan, reviewing Environmental Protection in Multi-Layered Systems: Lessons for the Water Sector, edited by Mariachiara Alberton and Francesco Palmero in Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 2014.
With David Farnsworth, Environmental Liability and Participation: The Second-Best Solution, 40 McGill L.J. 805 (1995) (reviewing Gretta Goldenman Et al., Environmental Liability and Privitazation In Central America and Eastern Europe, 1994).
U. S. Environmental Law: Ecosystems, the Commons and Environmental Rights (1993) (unpublished paper presented to the Institu Nacional de Administracao, Lisbon, Portugal, May 1993) (on file with author).
With Janette Eadon, Environmental Mediation in Vermont (1983) (on file with Environmental Law Center, Vermont Law School).
Essay, Beyond Advocacy and Towards Justice: The Contribution of Legal Reasoning to Planning and Policy Making, Am. Inst. Planners (1972).
With Ross Virginia, "A Decade of Change in the Concept of the Ecosystem Legal Regime", (Series Editors' Preface) in Mary Jane Angelo, The Law and Ecology of Pesticides and Pest Management, (2013).
Institutional Factors of Power Production in New England, in Impact Of Water Availability on Electrical Energy Production on New England (BEDA 1977).
Editor, Augustine and Modern Law (Ashgate Press 2011).
Editor, Cicero and Modern Law (Ashgate Press 2009)
Editor, Plato and Modern Law (Ashgate Press 2007).
Municipal Environmental Ordinances: Compendium of Municipal Environmental Laws, University of Rhode Island (1977).
Speaking (Vermont) Truth to (Washington) Power, 29 Vt. L. Rev. 877-893 (2005).
Awards & Accomplishments
Awards, Honors or Grants
Recipient of the Mina Shaunessy Post Secondary Education Award, U.S. Dept. of Education (1984).
Chair, Air Pollution Committee, American Bar Association, since 1996.
Chair, Environmental Committee, Vermont Bar Association, 1986.
Contributions to the Law:
- Visiting Professor in Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, since 1980.
- Past consultant, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., and U.S. Department of Energy.
- Professor of Law, Social Planning, and Environmental Planning, University of Rhode Island, 1971-78.
Chair, Association of American Law Schools, section on North American Cooperation, 1998-99.
Member, editorial review boards of Environment and Land Use Law Annual, since 1985, Environmental Auditor, since 1989, and Hazardous Materials Journal, since 1990.
Professor at Vermont Law School since 1978.
Visiting Professor in Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, since 1980.
Past consultant, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., and U.S. Department of Energy.
Associate Professor of Law and Planning, University of Rhode Island, 1971-78.
Chair, Urban Studies Program, Connecticut College 1968