State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Faculty Profile: Edward Lloyd

Many young law school students dream of one day arguing a case in front of the Supreme Court or of teaching a classroom full of bright future activists who will use their legal skills to defend environmental causes and advocate for human rights. Professor Edward Lloyd is one of few lawyers who, in a vocation filled with pressure to pursue more lucrative options, has been able to rise to the top of his profession through an unwavering commitment to the environment and social justice.

An activist and scholar with expertise in environmental legal issues and citizen suit litigation, Lloyd has testified before U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committees on environmental enforcement and has been a member of the Litigation Review Committee of the Environmental Defense Fund since 1991. On the local scale, he is a tireless advocate for the environment in New Jersey. He is co-founder and co-director of the Eastern Environmental Law Center, the sole public interest environmental law firm in the state, and served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Environmental Litigation. In 2002, he was appointed to the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, which oversees preservation and development in the 1.1 million acre New Jersey Pinelands area.

As the director of the Columbia Environmental Law Clinic, Professor Lloyd inspires future lawyers with unique opportunities to effect real-world change.  Clinic students represent environmental and community organizations in complex civil suits that address the ecological challenges of our time.

“The Environmental Clinic gives Columbia Law students a myriad of opportunities to work on issues at the forefront of environmental policy at the local, national, and international levels,” says Lloyd.

Clinic students and Lloyd worked with the environmental advocacy group Riverkeeper recently, taking on a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court (UWAG v. Riverkeeper). Riverkeeper and other environmental organizations challenged EPA’s methods for determining performance standards for existing power plant water cooling systems. Riverkeeper claims that current EPA analysis methods fail to give adequate weight to the ecological cost of fish killed by outdated cooling systems.

Lloyd gave students the opportunity to conduct regulatory, statutory and policy research through analysis of a proposal by the Buena Vista Township that attempted to skirt water quality standards in the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan.  This was a unique and exciting project for Clinic students because it is a case that exists at the nexus of state, local and federal laws, and it is an example of the role that small-scale local governance can play in important cases with large-scale environmental consequences.

Lloyd has also provided students with exposure to international environmental issues in São Tomé and Príncipe, where deforestation and enforcement of environmental protections are significant challenges for this small West African country.  Clinic students have also partnered with the Human Rights Clinic to address issues at the intersection of human rights and the environment.  Professor Lloyd works with law schools around the World to help them establish environmental clinics.  He also works with Professor Gerrard on the newly established Law School Center for Climate Change Law.

Prior to joining the Columbia Law School faculty in 2000, Lloyd was the founding director of the Rutgers University Law School Environmental Law Clinic from 1985 to 2000. He has also lectured on environmental legal issues at Judicial College for New Jersey judges and on citizen suit litigation at the Practicing Law Institute and ALI/ABA, and he has taught numerous environmental courses for the practicing bar at the New Jersey Institute for Legal Education. From 1974 to 1985 Lloyd was executive director and staff attorney of the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, where he now serves as general counsel.

Professor Lloyd, the Evan M. Frankel Clinical Professor in Environmental Law, is a member of the Earth Institute’s Academic Committee. He earned his B.A. in chemistry from Princeton in 1970 and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1973.

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