Environmental and property law expert J.B. Ruhl to join Vanderbilt’s law faculty

May 2, 2011

J. B. Ruhl, an expert in environmental law, land use and property law, will join the faculty of Vanderbilt Law School, where he will hold the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law, in fall 2011.

The appointment was announced by Chris Guthrie, Dean of Vanderbilt Law School.

Professor Ruhl will be affiliated with Vanderbilt’s Environmental Law Program, Program in Law and Government, and the Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network.

Professor Ruhl is currently the Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property at the Florida State University College of Law, where he has taught since 1999. He is currently working on two books – Law’s Complexity: Thinking of Law as a Complex Adaptive System (Cambridge University Press) and Land Use and Growth Management (Aspen Publishers) – and is a coauthor of three books published between 2002 and 2008, as well as the author of numerous chapters. His scholarly articles on environmental law relating to climate change, the Endangered Species Act, ecosystems, federal public lands, and other land use and environmental issues have appeared in the California Law Review, the Georgetown Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Duke Law Review, the Environmental Law Reporter, the Vanderbilt Law Review and the specialty environment journals at several top law schools, among other journals. His works have been selected among the best law review articles in the field of environmental law from 1989 to 2009. He has recently completed work on “An Empirical Assessment of Climate Change in the Courts” with coauthor David Markell.

During his tenure at Florida State, Professor Ruhl served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the 2004-05 academic year and on numerous law school and university faculty committees. Over the course of his career, he has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Vermont Law School, George Washington University Law School, the University of Texas Law School and Lewis & Clark College of Law. He began his academic career at the Southern Illinois University School of Law, where he taught from 1994-99. Before entering the academy, he was a partner with Fulbright & Jaworski in Austin, Texas, where he also taught on the adjunct faculty of the University of Texas School of Law.

Professor Ruhl earned both his undergraduate and J.D. degrees at the University of Virginia, and also holds an LL.M. in environmental law from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in geography from Southern Illinois University.

“J.B. Ruhl is one of the top scholars working in the fields of environmental law, land use and property law today, and his current research is exploring how environment law addresses climate change, which is an extremely important and timely focus,” said Dean Chris Guthrie. “I’m pleased to announce his appointment, and look forward to having him join our faculty this fall.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the Vanderbilt community,” Professor Ruhl said. “The breadth and depth of programs connecting with environment and land use, particularly on the climate change front, distinguishes the law school as a leader in the field. I look forward to contributing to that momentum in many ways.”

Vanderbilt’s David Daniels Allen Chair in Law was endowed by the family and friends of David Daniels Allen, a Vanderbilt University graduate who was a founding partner of Reynolds Allen & Cook in Houston.

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