Kirsten H. Engel

Professor of Law

Kirsten H. Engel portrait

Kirsten Engel is the Charles E. Ares Professor of Law at the James E. Rogers College of Law where she teaches and researches in the areas of environmental and administrative law. The emphasis of her more recent scholarship is the response of state and local governments to climate change in the United States and especially the constitutional and economic impediments these governments face seeking to mitigate climate change in the absence of comprehensive federal climate change legislation.

Engel is the co-author of an environmental law textbook, book chapters and articles. Her work appears in journals such as the UCLA Law Review Discourse, the Minnesota Law Review, and the Ecology Law Quarterly.

Prior to joining the law faculty at the University of Arizona, she held numerous permanent and temporary appointments within academia and in the public and nonprofit sectors, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Massachusetts' Attorney General's Office, and Harvard, Vanderbilt, and Tulane Law Schools.

Curriculum Vitae

SSRN Published Papers

Representative Publications

  • The Crisis in Global Ethics and the Future of Global Governance:  Fulfilling the Promise of the Earth Charter (forthcoming 2019) (co-editor, with Peter Burdon & Klaus Bosselmann).
  • Environmental Law:  A Conceptual and Pragmatic Approach (3d ed. 2016) (co-author, with David M. Driesen & Robert W. Adler).
  • Navigating Climate Change Policy:  The Opportunities of Federalism (2011) (co-editor, with Edella C. Schlager & Sally Rider).
  • Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act at Forty:  Tackling Unfinished Business, 10 Ariz. J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 187 (2020) (co-author, with Esther Loiseleur & Elise Drilhon).
  • Damages, Injunctions, and Climate Justice:  A Reply to Jonathan Zasloff, 58 UCLA L. Rev. Discourse 189 (2011).
  • Courts and Climate Policy:  Now and in the Future, in Greenhouse Governance:  Addressing American Climate Change Policy 229 (Barry G. Rabe ed., 2010).
  • Micro-Motives for State and Local Climate Initiatives, 2 Harv. L. & Pol'y Rev. 119 (2008) (co-author, with Barak Y. Orbach).
  • Adaptive Federalism:  The Case Against Reallocating Environmental Regulatory Authority, 92 Minn. L. Rev. 1796 (2008) (co-author, with David E. Adelman).
  • Harmonizing Regulatory and Litigation Approaches to Climate Change Mitigation:  Incorporating Tradable Emissions Offsets into Common Law Remedies, 155 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1563 (2007).
  • Complete List of Publications


  • J.D. Northwestern University School of Law
    American Association of University Women Fellow; Leopold Schepp Foundation Fellow
  • B.A. Brown University
    Graduated magna cum laude.

Admitted to Practice

  • Massachusetts (inactive)
  • District of Columbia (inactive)
  • Illinois (inactive)

Work Experience

  • Charles E. Ares Professor of Law
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2015 - present
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2012 - 2015
  • Professor of Law
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2005 - 2015
  • Senior Counsel
    Public Protection Bureau, Massachusetts Office of Attorney General, Boston, Mass.
    2001 - 2004
  • Acting Chief
    Environmental Protection Division, Massachusetts Office of Attorney General, Boston, Mass.
    2000 - 2001
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Law
    Harvard Law School
    Fall 1999
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Law
    Vanderbilt School of Law
    Spring 1998
  • Visiting Scholar
    Boalt Hall, University of California School of Law, Berkeley
    Spring 1996
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Tulane Law School, New Orleans, La.
    1992 - 2000
  • Adjunct Professor
    University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, Md.
    Spring 1992
  • Staff Attorney
    Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, Washington, D.C.
    1990 - 1992
  • Staff Attorney
    Office of General Counsel, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
    1987 - 1990
  • Judicial Clerk
    Hon. Myron H. Bright, Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Fargo, N.D.
    1986 - 1987

Public & Institutional Service

  • Member, Site Council, Lineweaver Elementary School, Tucson Unified School District
    2014 - present
  • Member, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano's Climate Change Advisory Group
    2005 - 2006
  • Board of Directors, Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, Tulane Law School
    2001 - present


  • Sumter Marks Award for Scholarship, Tulane Law School