Lisa Heinzerling is the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. Her primary specialties are environmental and administrative law. She has published several books, including a leading casebook (with Zygmunt Plater and others) on environmental law, a then-novel casebook (with Mark Tushnet) aimed at introducing first-year law students to the regulatory and administrative state, and a hard-hitting critique of the use of cost-benefit analysis in environmental policy (Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing, co-authored with Frank Ackerman). Peer environmental law professors have four times voted her work among the top ten articles of the year.
Professor Heinzerling has received the Georgetown President’s Award for Distinguished Scholar-Teachers, the Frank F. Flegal faculty teaching award at Georgetown Law, and numerous awards related to her scholarship and advocacy in environmental law. She is a former public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and a former chair of the board of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
After finishing law school, where she served as editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review, Professor Heinzerling clerked for Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., of the U.S. Supreme Court. She was one of the inaugural Skadden Fellows, at Business & Professional People for the Public Interest, in Chicago, and for three years practiced environmental law in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.
In her time at Georgetown, Professor Heinzerling has continued to litigate cases in environmental law. Most prominently, she served as lead author of the winning briefs in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases. A survey of over 400 environmental lawyers and law professors ranked this case as the most significant case in all of environmental law.
From January 2009 to July 2009, Heinzerling served as Senior Climate Policy Counsel to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and then, from July 2009 to December 2010, she served as Associate Administrator of EPA’s Office of Policy. In 2008, she served as a member of President Obama’s EPA transition team.
Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals
"How Massachusetts v. EPA Forced the U.S. Government to Take On Climate Change," coverage in Inside Climate News, June 4, 2020, featuring Professor Lisa Heinzerling.
"Fight over financial oversight places FERC in the crosshairs," coverage by E&E News, March 3, 2020, quoting Professor Lisa Heinzerling.
"A law professor investigates the legal decision to regulate U.S. greenhouse gases," coverage by Science, March 3, 2020, mentioning Professor Lisa Heinzerling.
"High Court's Census Decision Could Bolster Suits Over Trump Rollbacks," coverage by InsideOSHAOnline, July 2, 2019, quoting Professor Lisa Heinzerling.