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Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Affiliate, Sustainability Management; Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law; Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School

Michael B. Gerrard teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law, and energy regulation. He is also Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Chair of the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. From 1979 through 2008, he practiced environmental law in New York, most recently as partner in charge of the New York office of Arnold & Porter LLP. Upon joining the Columbia law faculty in 2009, he became Senior Counsel to the firm. His practice involved trying numerous cases and arguing many appeals in federal and state courts and administrative tribunals, handling the environmental aspects of numerous transactions and development projects, and providing regulatory compliance advice to a wide variety of clients in the private and public sectors.

Gerrard's contributions to legal scholarship have been significant. He has written or edited eleven books. Since 1986, he has been an environmental law columnist for the New York Law Journal. Gerrard twice received the Association of American Publishers' Best Law Book award for works on environmental law and brownfields. His 2007 edited volume, Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (American Bar Association), is considered to be one of the leading texts in the field. He is also the editor and author of a number of other publications in environmental law, including the 12-volume Environmental Law Practice Guide, which was awarded the "Best Law Book of the Year" by the Association of American Publishers - a distinction that he has earned twice. Legal Media Group, a London-based legal publisher, recently ranked Gerrard as the leading environmental lawyer in the world, based on 4,500 interviews.

Gerrard was the 2004-2005 chair of the American Bar Association's 10,000-member Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. He also chaired the Executive Committee of the New York City Bar Association, and the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. He has served on the executive committees of the boards of the Environmental Law Institute and the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Several independent rating services ranked Gerrard as the leading environmental lawyer in New York and one of the leading environmental lawyers in the world.

Gerrard has taught courses at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and New York University Law School, and was a visiting professor at Universite Paris 1 Panteon-Sorbonne, and a visiting distinguished scholar at Vermont Law School. He has also lectured on environmental law in Brazil, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Italy, Malta, Israel, China, Taiwan, India, Japan, Chile, The Marshall Islands, Canada and throughout the United States.


  • J.D., New York University (Root-Tilden Scholar)
  • B.A., Columbia University


  • Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (American Bar Association, second ed. published in 2014), co-edited with Jody Freeman
  • Threatened Island Nations: Legal Implications of  Rising Seas and a Changing Climate (Cambridge University Press, 2013), co-edited with Gregory Wannier
  • The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: U.S. and International Aspects (American Bar Association, 2012), co-edited with Katrina Fischer Kuh
  • The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables (American Bar Association, 2012), editor 
  • Environmental Law Practice Guide (M. Bender, 1992), editor