Kirsten H.
Charles E. Ares Professor of Law
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Biographical Information

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.

Representative Publications

  • 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).
  • 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


Northwestern University School of Law

American Association of University Women Fellow; Leopold Schepp Foundation Fellow

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