Faculty Profiles

James Salzman

James Salzman

Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law
B.A. Yale College, 1985
J.D. Harvard Law School, 1989
M.Sc. Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1990

James Salzman is the Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law with joint appointments at the UCLA School of Law and at the Bren School of the Environment at UC Santa Barbara.  He formerly held joint appointments at Duke University as the Samuel F. Mordecai Professor of Law and Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy. In more than eight books and eighty articles and book chapters, his broad-ranging scholarship has addressed topics spanning drinking water, trade and environment conflicts, policy instrument design, and the legal and institutional issues in creating markets for ecosystem services. A 2012 study by Phillips and Yoo ranked him as the fifth most cited environmental law professor in the field.

A dedicated classroom teacher and colleague, Salzman was twice selected as Professor of the Year by Duke students. He frequently appears as a media commentator and has lectured on environmental policy on every continent except Antarctica. He has served as a visiting law professor at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale as well as at universities in Australia, Sweden, Israel, Portugal, China and Italy.

An honors graduate of Yale College and Harvard University, Salzman was the first Harvard graduate to earn joint degrees in law and engineering and was named a Sheldon Fellow upon graduation. He has both government and private sector work experience. Prior to entering academia, he worked in Paris in the Environment Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and in London as the European Environmental Manager for Johnson Wax. His honors include election as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, as well as appointments as a McMaster Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar in Australia, a Gilbert White Fellow at Resources for the Future, and a Bellagio Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

He has published four casebooks, including International Environmental Law and Policy, Foundation Press (with D. Zaelke and D. Hunter, 5th ed. 2015), the leading casebook in the field with adoptions at over 200 schools. His articles have appeared in the UCLA, California, NYU, Penn, Duke and Stanford Law Reviews, as well as other legal, scientific and popular journals. A national survey of environmental law professors has voted his work among the top articles of the year on six separate occasions. Salzman is active in the fields of practice and policy, serving as a Member of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee, a government-appointed body providing counsel to the EPA Administrator and U.S. Trade Representative on trade and environment issues, as well as advising several environmental non-profits.

His most recent book, Drinking Water: A History, was praised as a “Recommended Read” by Scientific American and reviewed in the New York Times and Washington Post. It is now in paperback and in its third printing.