Burke Center Welcomes Noted Environmental Law Professor Victor Flatt to Law School for the 2022-23 Academic Year

Victor Flatt

The Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law is excited to welcome Professor Victor B. Flatt as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow and a Visiting Professor of Law for the 2022-2023 school year. Professor Flatt is a nationally recognized expert on environmental law, climate law and energy law, who will be teaching a range of environmental and regulatory courses.

“We are thrilled to have such a nationally known environmental law expert join our faculty for the year,” said Michael Scharf, co-dean of the School of Law.

“Professor Flatt is widely known as an innovative teacher and scholar and we look forward to his contributions to the Burke Environmental Law Center, ” added co-dean Jessica Berg. 

“Hosting Professor Flatt creates tremendous opportunities for the Center and for our students, especially given his expertise in climate law and policy and the developments within private environmental governance,” said Center Director Jonathan H. Adler, the Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law.

Professor Flatt is currently the Dwight Olds Chair in Law and the Faculty Director of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law Center. His research focuses on environmental legislation and enforcement, with particular expertise in the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the practice of environmental markets such as carbon trading. Professor Flatt says he hopes to share this knowledge with the students and faculty at CWRU: “I am very excited to be the Burke Center Distinguished Visiting Fellow At Case Western this year. I am focused on problem-solving at the intersection of environmental, climate, and energy law.” Professor Flatt believes “the Burke Center, under the leadership of Professor Adler, will be a great place to continue this work.”

While at the law school, Professor Flatt looks forward to learning from CWRU faculty and students and also fostering a passion for environmental law in the student body. Of particular interest to Professor Flatt is the intersection of environmental law and the private sector. Professor Flatt hopes to demonstrate in his classes that while environmental conditions in the US have improved significantly since the passage of NEPA, new laws are needed to address the modern problems still facing the country and the world. Professor Flatt believes that government should incentivize conserving natural resources and limit the release of pollutants. Although he believes the law is behind the eight ball in protecting the environment, he is encouraged by how private investors have pushed corporations to be more eco-friendly. 

This fall, Professor Flatt will teach Environmental Law, and in the spring he will teach “Environmental Governance and the Private Sector” and a section of the first-year Legislation & Regulation course. 

Some of Professor Flatt’s many accomplishments include co-authoring Legal Protection of the Environment and authoring more than 50 law review articles, which appeared in journals such as the Notre Dame Law Review, Ecology Law Quarterly, Washington Law Review, Houston Law Review, and Carolina Law Review. Additionally, seven of his articles have been recognized as finalists or winners of the best environmental law review article of the year, and one was recognized by Vanderbilt University Law School and the Environmental Law Institute as one of the three best environmental articles of 2010, leading to a seminar and panel on the article in a Congressional staff briefing. 

Professor Flatt holds an appointment as a Distinguished Scholar of Carbon Markets at the University of Houston’s Global Energy Management Institute. Previously, Professor Flatt was the inaugural Taft Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law, and the first A.L. O’Quinn Chair in Environmental Law at the University of Houston Law Center from 2002-2009. For a full list of Professor Flatt’s accomplishments, please visit his page on the University of Houston website or review his CV. For more updates on Professor Flatt’s time at CWRU, follow the Burke Center News website

Established with a $10 million endowment in 2019, the Burke Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law has become one of the nation’s highest ranked international law centers, with an “A” rating by preLaw magazine (2022).