Position: Professor (tenure-track, in Environmental Law Program), University of Hawaii, Richardson School of Law (Deadline: Feb. 23, 2018, Honolulu, HI)

Title: Assistant, Associate or Full Professor (Law)

Position Number: 0085629

Hiring Unit: William S. Richardson School of Law

Location: University of Hawai`i at Manoa

Date Posted: January 22, 2018

Closing Date: February 23, 2018

Salary Information: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Monthly Type: 9 Month

Tenure Track: Tenure

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Temporary/Permanent: Permanent

Other Conditions: To begin academic year 2018-2019. Rank commensurate with experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will be a full time member of the tenured or tenure track faculty in the Law School’s Environmental Law Program (ELP). The energy law focus of the position is on innovative renewable/clean energy, utility regulation, and sustainability and resiliency law and policy, including issues of particular importance to Hawai`i/Pacific/island communities such as energy from solar, ocean, wind, geothermal, and biofuels, and the intersection with climate change, renewable transportation, carbon budgets/markets, natural resources, indigenous rights, environmental justice, and human rights, at the local, regional, national, and international levels. His or her primary teaching, scholarship, and service responsibilities will center on the areas of energy, environmental, and administrative law. The successful candidate will oversee the Law School’s energy law curriculum and projects under the Environmental Law Program in an addition to assisting with other ELP program priorities.

Minimum Qualifications

A record of academic excellence, a Juris Doctor degree or equivalent, and manifest potential for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional service.

Desirable Qualifications

Demonstrated experience in energy law and policy in the government, non-profit, or private sector in Hawai`i/Pacific/island contexts.

Excellent interpersonal skills that allow the candidate to inspire and work effectively with diverse groups of students, staff, faculty, alumni, university units, government officials, and members of the bar.

Ability to work effectively in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary contexts.

Hawai`i is a community of rich cultural diversity. We encourage applicants from minority groups, women, and others whose background or interest will contribute to diversity in the faculty. Applications from both experienced teachers and those new to teaching are welcome.

To Apply:

Submit cover letter indicating the position number for which you are applying, how you satisfy the minimum and desirable qualifications, full contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional references, resume, links to scholarship or writing samples, and transcripts to the following address. Copies of transcripts are acceptable, but original transcripts will be required at time of hire. E-mail applications preferred to: lssearch@hawaii.edu, William S. Richardson School of Law, Attention: Appointments Committee Chair Professor Nicholas Mirkay.


William S. Richardson School of Law

2515 Dole Street, Room 220

Honolulu, HI 96822

Inquiries: Nicholas Mirkay; 808-956-9435namirkay@hawaii.edu

The University of Hawaiʻi is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, disability, genetic information, marital status, breastfeeding, income assignment for child support, arrest and court record (except as permissible under State law), sexual orientation, domestic or sexual violence victim status, national guard absence, or status as a covered veteran.

Employment is contingent on satisfying employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986; reference checks of previous employers; and for certain positions, criminal history record checks.

In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, annual campus crime statistics for the University of Hawaii may be viewed at: http://ope.ed.gov/security/, or a paper copy may be obtained upon request from the respective UH Campus Security or Administrative Services Office.

Position: Environmental Law Professor, Howard University School of Law, (deadline: Feb. 8, 2018, Washington, DC)

Howard University School of Law seeks Environmental Law professor

Howard University School of Law invites applications from candidates with an expertise in environmental law. This is for a tenure-track position beginning in the fall semester of 2018. The Law School will also consider applications for a visitor in this area for the academic year 2018-2019.

In addition to Environmental Law courses, the ideal candidate will teach Property and a class on Legislation and Regulation. Applicants should be prepared to spend significant time outside the classroom working with students.

Candidates must have a J.D. degree from an accredited law school, distinguished academic credentials, a record of excellence in practice or in academia, and the record or potential to become an outstanding teacher and scholar.

Interested persons should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, names of references, and subject area preferences (electronic submissions only) to Professor Josephine Ross, Chair of the Initial Appointments Subcommittee at jross.howardlaw@gmail.com. Please also include Ms. Donnice Butler in the email: donnice.butler@law.howard.edu.

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, but for best consideration, please email your materials by February 8, 2018.

Howard University School of Law is committed to a diverse faculty, staff, and student body.  We encourage applications from women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and others whose background, experience, and viewpoints contribute to the diversity of our institution.

In Memory of Professor Gil Kujovich

Gil KujovichMy good friend Professor Gil Kujovich passed away on December 14.  He was a long-time beloved teacher at Vermont Law School who was one of the kindest and smartest person I met during my time teaching there.

Gil served in the Vietnam War and then attended Harvard Law School, where he was an articles editor of the Harvard Law Review.  He then went on to clerk for Judge Shirley Hufstedler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justices Potter Stewart and Byron White of the U.S. Supreme Court. He then served in various positions in the Carter Administration, including  as counsel to the White House Intelligence Oversight Board from 1979 to 1980 and then as assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Education.  He joined the Vermont Law School faculty in 1981. During the consideration of civil union (same-sex marriage) legislation by the Vermont Legislature in the early 2000s, he testified numerous times before the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

Gil was deeply committed to the ideals of justice and racial equality and carried out those values by mentoring many of Vermont Law School’s students of color, including Shirley Jefferson who went on to become Vermont Law School’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity.  Vermont Law School carried a tribute that provides the remembrances of many students and colleagues.  His kindness both as a teacher and colleague and his generosity of spirit left a lasting impression on all he came into contact with, especially myself.   Both I and my wife Tinling will miss him dearly.   (The picture of is of me with Gil and his wife Joni in 2003 or thereabouts.)


ESG Investing is on the Rise as Investors Realize Good Environmental Practices are a Good Proxy for Strong Management and Higher Profits

By Si Jun Lee

According to August 2017 reports by Bank of America, “ESG” investing has grown by more than 97% globally in the past 20 years. ESG investing refers to the practice of using environmental, social, and governance criteria to screen and select companies for investment. Environmental criteria consider how a company manages its environmental resources and responsibilities; social criteria look at the company’s impacts in the communities where it does business; and governance criteria examine a company’s corporate structure and transparency.

While ESG investing was traditionally viewed as a niche investment strategy for the socially-conscious crowd, more mainstream investors are coming to the realization that strong ESG performance is an indicator of strong and effective management. CEOs that act responsibly in managing environmental impacts also approach other factors in their business in a more sustainable way, which means their business are more profitable over the long-term and deliver better returns to their investors. A 2014 study by the firm CDP found that companies that plan for environmental changes achieves return-on-investment (ROI) that is 18% higher than companies that do not plan for environmental change, and 67% higher ROI than companies that refuse to disclose their emissions.
BofA estimates that the amount of assets managed under ESG funds have gone from less than $100 billion in 1995 to $8.72 trillion in 2016, and women and Millennials investors are the two primary groups driving the sharp increase. A recent survey by Nielsen indicates that 90% of Millennials and 80% of women investors show an interest in ESG strategies, and are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings.

Increased interest in ESG strategies has not gone unnoticed by corporate boards. Most global companies now issue Corporate Responsibility reports. Many mid-size companies are also starting to incorporate ESG considerations, to some extent, in their business planning.

But despite the progress, there are still significant barriers to ESG investing. One is the lack of uniform and comparable ESG reporting data. While many companies offer Corporate Responsibility reports, they often cover different issues and rely on different metrics. If the growth in ESG investing continues on the same trajectory, however, it is likely that the marketplace will adapt to develop more uniform and reliable standards as companies compete for a bigger share of ESG investment dollars.

The Paris Climate Agreement Math, in Terms a NY Real Estate Developer can Understand

By Si Jun Lee

The $100 billion Green Climate Fund figure at the center of the Paris Agreement has been singled out for criticism by both supporters and critics alike.

On one hand, President Trump’s assertion that the Green Climate Fund will require the U.S. to pay “billions and billions and billions of dollars” while “many of the other countries haven’t spent anything, and . . . will never pay one dime” is inaccurate.

First, the Green Climate Fund is an outgrowth of the 2010 Copenhagen Climate Agreement.  It stipulated that 37 developed countries plus the European Union would “mobilize”—not “give”—a combined $100 billion in climate finance to developing countries by 2020.  That figure, however, includes only $10.3 in direct aid from developed countries, with the rest coming from private investments and voluntary contributions from other countries.   When the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2016, the total amount “mobilized” was already at $66.8 billion, with little coming from direct aid.  Second, other countries are paying as well.  The U.S. committed $3 billion of direct aid, but only paid $1 billion before President Trump reneged on the remaining $2 billion commitment.  According to the Green Climate fund’s Pledge Tracker, the majority of countries that pledged funds under the Agreement have already paid in full.  Others have paid significant sums as well: the UK $770 million, Japan $750 million, Germany $500 million, France $450 million, Canada $187 million, etc.

On the other hand, there is some truth in the sense that the financial burden has been uneven.  China and India have not committed any funds, and it is also no secret that the reason many developing countries joined for the Paris Agreement may well be to get a slice of the $100 billion pie, as evidenced by the Climate Action Plans submitted by developing countries uniformly requesting financing for action.  From a common sense perspective, a focus on climate change at the moment makes little sense for countries like Yemen, which is currently struggling with the aftermath of a long civil war and crippling hunger and disease epidemics.  Yet Yemen signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement and submitted a Climate Action Plan ahead of schedule, indicating it could institute programs to reduce its carbon emission by 1-14% conditional upon obtaining international financing for its climate program.  Despite the fact that the Green Climate Fund invests in specific projects and does not distribute money to countries for self-implementation, there is still some skepticism that—without strong oversight on a local level—there is a risk that funds intended for climate programs could dissipate through graft and corruption in some countries.

This does not mean, however, that the U.S. decision to walk away from the Agreement was financially wise.  The pre-Trump U.S. approach in supporting the Green Climate Fund is a strategy that President Trump should understand well from the real estate world.  It was designed to leverage a small direct investment to raise a substantially larger sum from other players for a global project that it could not—and should not have to—finance on its own.  The international goal of mobilizing $100 million by 2020 once seemed reachable, even with a relatively low commitment of direct aid from the U.S.  President Trump’s withdrawal now sends a strong signal akin to a lead investor pulling out of a real estate development deal at the last minute.  The U.S.’s departure won’t help convince China and India to do more (unless they see economic opportunities in the power vacuum).  Worse yet, it sounds the alarm for other private investors to pump the brakes on climate projects around the world.

While President Trump’s decision saved the U.S. $2 billion in short term cash, this pales in comparison to what the U.S. stands to lose from continued climate change.  According to a September 2017 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. agricultural, health, and labor sectors all suffer measurable economic impact from global emissions in other countries.  In addition, spending to respond to climate-change related natural disasters has cost the U.S. over $350 billion in the last decade.  And these costs are rising rapidly as climate change becomes more accelerated.  The GAO report, in fact, urged the Trump administration to take action to protect the environment before it starts costing the country more money in the long term.  Ironically, the Green Climate Fund was a way for the U.S. to accomplish exactly this goal… largely using other people’s money.

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Granted Cultural Conservation Easement on Summit of Mount Umunuhm


On Wednesday, the Board of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District voted to grant a 36 acre cultural conservation easement at the top of Mount Umunuhm to the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.  [Also San Jose Mercury News reporting.] The decision essentially confers rights to carry out tribal ceremonies and other cultural activities, including building a garden, in the area where there is also now a public park.  (Mount Umunhum is a new regional park with gorgeous views of the South Bay area that just opened a few months ago.  Since it is only a half an hour away from my home, a hike there has been on my to-do  list.)  According to the Open Space District, “Mount Umunhum is a sacred site to the Amah Mutsun people and is central to their creation story.”

While the decision has attracted some controversy, it seems to me to be a generous and worthy gesture of a public agency to help this tribe preserve its cultural heritage.  It is also designed to right some of the historical injustices that Native Americans have suffered, especially displacement from their ancestral lands.  For non-Native Americans, this step helps to recognize the important role that Indian Tribes have played in this country’s history and their continuing inextricable importance to our nation’s broader culture.

Given that I have never heard of a government agency doing anything like this before, this step may set an important precedent for other local and state government agencies in their interactions with Native groups.

Interestingly, public recognition of this tribe’s ancestral connection to these lands also touches my own institution, Santa Clara University.  According to the Mercury News, “the Amah Mutsun is made up of about 600 descendants of Ohlones, who once inhabited the area south of San Jose, and now largely live in Central Valley towns.”  The Ohlone Indians make up the Native American community that Mission Santa Clara Mission de Assis, founded by Father Junipero Serra, originally was designed to serve and to convert to Christianity.  That mission still stands in the heart of the Santa Clara University campus and was the origin of the present-day university.  Yet, unlike the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, I am not aware of Santa Clara University formally recognizing the Ohlone Indians’ contributions to and past relationship with the University (beyond references in the University history).  (It happens to be an issue that I am asked about surprisingly frequently by visitors.)

Zero-waste cities will be the reality soon:  Is that a good thing?

By Si Jun Lee

Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages use of recycling, reusing, and composting to divert waste from being sent to landfills or incinerators.  The movement originated in the mid-1980s, when PhD chemist Paul Palmer founded Zero Waste Systems in California with the goal of finding new homes for most of the chemicals being excessed by the electronic industry.  In the last 10 years, however, the movement has transitioned from theory into action.  A number of large U.S. cities—including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Austin, etc.—have already adopted plans to work toward zero waste.  Companies like Thrive Market, Subaru, Xerox, and Anheuser-Busch are also moving toward zero-waste manufacturing plants.

There are obvious benefits associated with zero waste, such as reduction of negative environmental impacts like climate change, air pollution and the waste of precious resources. Less obvious are economic benefits such as additional jobs for recycling and diversion services.

But is zero waste truly possible?  Sure, there are models like the Japanese town of Kamikatsu, where there are no garbage trucks and the 1,700 residents must sort their trash into 34 categories before bringing it to the recycling plan themselves.  But what about urban cities like New York, and San Francisco?  One way that some large cities are achieving “zero-waste” is by using waste-to-energy (WTE) methods—essentially, burning trash as fuel for generating power, instead of coal, oil, or natural gas.   In China, WTE is viewed as a low-cost renewable energy strategy, and the Chinese government is building the largest WTE plant in the world, that will turn a third of Shenzhen’s trash into energy every day.  Similarly, New York, with non-existent local landfill space, aims to achieve 90% of waste diversion, by relying on WTE to dispose of 25% of their waste.  Other cities, like San Francisco, do not view WTE as an acceptable part of a zero-waste plan.  In achieving 80% diversion rate for waste, San Francisco processed less than 1% of its waste through WTE.  However, it is uncertain whether San Francisco will be able to continue working towards true “zero waste” without greater reliance on WTE.

Some experts question whether WTE is the right solution, due to the possibility that it would generate harmful residual pollutants in the air, land, or water.  For residents living near WTE plants, this is a grave concern.  In Shenzhen, construction of the largest WTE plant—located just north of the city’s major drinking water reservoirs—was met with protests by several dozen residents fearing air and water contamination from the ash, wastewater, and airborne pollutants of the incinerated waste.

Until zero-waste cities become the norm, there is little hard scientific data to either validate or refute these fears.  Use of WTE as part of a zero-waste strategy can be a solution, or it can be another big problem.  Thus, the question is no longer, can large cities achieve zero-waste?  The question is, how?