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Richard J. Lazarus

Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law

Richard J. Lazarus
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Richard Lazarus is the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he teaches environmental law, natural resources Law, Supreme Court advocacy, and torts. Professor Lazarus has represented the United States, state and local governments, and environmental groups in the United States Supreme Court in 40 cases and has presented oral argument in 14 of those cases. His primary areas of legal scholarship are environmental and natural resources law, with particular emphasis on constitutional law and the Supreme Court. He has published two books, The Making of Environmental Law (U. Chicago 2004), and Environmental Law Stories (Aspen Press, co-edited with O. Houck 2005) and The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court (Belknap Press 2020). He was also the principal author of Deep Water – The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling (GPO 2011), which is the Report to the President of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, for which he served as the Executive Director. The Commission was charged with investigating the root causes of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and recommending changes in law and policy to reduce the risk of future spills and to mitigate their impacts. Prior to joining the Harvard law faculty, Professor Lazarus was the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Professor of Law at Georgetown University, where he also founded the Supreme Court Institute. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979 and has a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in economics from the University of Illinois.

Additional Information

Law School Administrative Work

Member, Admissions Committee (Harvard)

Member, Harvard University Greenhouse Gas Reduction Task Force

Member, Harvard University Center for the Environment Faculty Advisory Committee

Faculty Affiliate, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School Regulatory Policy Program

Chair, Academic Standards, Curriculum and Teaching Committee (Georgetown) (2009-2010)

Chair, Admissions Committee (Georgetown) (2006-2007, 2007-2008)

Member, Admissions Committee (Georgetown) (2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2005-2006)

Chair, Career Services Committee (Georgetown) (1997-1998, 1998-1999)

Member, Dean Search Committee (Georgetown) (2003-2004)

Chair Lateral Appointments, Faculty Appointments Committee (Georgetown) (2004-2005)

Member, Faculty Appointments Committee (Georgetown) (2001-2002, 2007-2008)

Member, Long Range Planning/Self Study Committee (Georgetown) (1997-1998, 1998-1999, 2000-2001, 2007-2008)

Advisor, Public Interest Law Scholars (Georgetown) (1996-2011)

Member, Special Committee for the Review of the Public Interest Law Scholars Program (Georgetown) (2001-2002, 2002-2003)

Faculty Co-Director, Supreme Court Institute (Georgetown) (2004-2011)

Faculty Director, Supreme Court Institute (Georgetown) (1999-2004)

 

 

Education

  • J.D. Harvard Law School, 1979
  • B.A. Economics University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, 1976
  • B.S. Chemistry University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, 1976

Academic Appointment and Employment History

  • Summer Law Faculty, University of Malta's Foundation for International Studies, Consortium for Innovative Legal Educatio (2012 - 2012)
    Two-week course co-taught with the Chief Justice of the United States
    Malta, Malta
  • Howard J. and Katherine W. Aibel Professor of Law, Harvard Law School (2011 - Present)
    Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • Summer Law Faculty, University of Florence School of Law, Penn State The Dickinson School of Law Study Abroad (2011 - 2011)
    Summer two-week course co-taught with the Chief Justice of the United States
    Florence, Italy
  • Executive Director, National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill & Future of Offshore Drilling (2010 - 2011)
    Presidential Commission investigating the root causes of the oil spill
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center (2010 - 2011)
    Georgetown, District of Columbia, United States
  • Austin Wakeman Scott Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School (2010 - 2010)
    Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • Stanley Legro Visiting Professor of Law, University of San Diego Law School (2009 - 2011)
    Spring short-term, intensive course
    San Diego, California, United States
  • Summer Law Faculty, Galway University, New England School of Law’s 2009 Summer Program on International and Comparative (2009 - 2009)
    Two-week course co-taught with the Chief Justice of the United States
    Galway, Ireland
  • Visiting Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law (2009 - 2009)
    Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Austin Wakeman Scott Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School (2008 - 2009)
    Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • Summer Law Faculty, University of Innsbruck, St. Mary’s School of Law Institute on World Legal Problems (2008 - 2008)
    Two-week course co-taught with the Chief Justice of the United States
    Innsbruck, Austria
  • Summer Law Faculty, Juridicum Vienna, Penn State The Dickinson School of Law Study Abroad (2007 - 2007)
    Two-week course co-taught with the Chief Justice of the United States
    Vienna, Austria
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law (2006 - 2006)
    New York, New York, United States
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School (2002 - 2002)
    Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • Visiting Lecturer, University of Tehran (2001 - 2001)
    Tehran, Iran
  • Founder & Faculty Co-Director, Georgetown University Supreme Court Institute (1999 - 2011)
    Provides, inter alia, moot court practice sessions for counsel in approximately 95 percent of Supreme Court cases
    Georgetown, District of Columbia, United States
  • Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (1999 - 2000)
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center (1996 - 2010)
    Georgetown, District of Columbia, United States
  • Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law (1992 - 1996)
    St. Louis, Missouri, United States
  • Office of the President-Elect Transition Team, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division (1992 - 1992)
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law (1991 - 1991)
    Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Visiting Professor of Law, University of Texas School of Law (1991 - 1991)
    Austin, Texas, United States
  • Associate Professor, Washington University School of Law (1989 - 1992)
    St. Louis, Missouri, United States
  • Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University National Law Center (1988 - 1988)
    Taught class in natural resources law
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Assistant to the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice (1986 - 1989)
    Representation of the United States before the Supreme Court.
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Assistant Professor Law, Indiana University (Bloomington) (1983 - 1985)
    Bloomington, Indiana, United States
  • Attorney, Policy, Legislation & Special Litigation, Land & Natural Resources Division, U.S. Dept. of Justice (1979 - 1983)
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court Bar
  • Massachusetts Bar
  • Missouri Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar

Board Memberships

  • Member, Environmental Defense Fund Board of Directors (2011 - Present)
    United States
  • Member, Analysis Group Board of Directors (2011 - Present)
  • Member, Analysis Group Board of Directors (2007 - 2010)
  • Member, U.S. EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (2005 - 2006)
  • Member, Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute Advisory Board (1999 - 2011)
  • Member, U.S. EPA Title VI of the Civil Rights Act Implementation Advisory Committee (1998 - 1999)
  • Member, U.S. Environmental Protection Environmental Justice Asssessment Group (1998 - 1999)
  • Chair, American Association of Law Schools Section on Natural Resources Law (1997 - 1998)
  • Vice-Chair, American Association of Law Schools Section on Natural Resources Law (1996 - 1997)
  • Member, Harvard Environmental Law Review Advisory Board (1995 - Present)
  • Member, Environmental Law Institute Environmental Law Reporter Advisory Committee (1995 - Present)
  • Member, Word Wildlife Fund National Council (1995 - 2000)
  • Member, U.S. EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (1994 - 1997)
  • Member, Litigation Review Committee, Environmental Defense Fund Board of Directors (1992 - Present)
  • Vice-Chair, American Bar Association Section on Water Law (1992 - 1993)
    United States

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law (Awards)
    American Bar Association, 2011
  • Frank Flegal Teaching Award (Awards)
    Georgetown University Law Center, faculty peer review award based on faculty & student survey, 2002
  • Teacher of the Year (Awards)
    Washington University School of Law

Representative Publications

View all publications by Richard J. Lazarus