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Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

Professor Gerald Torres: James L. Huffman Lecture in Honor of the Western Resources Legal Center

Date: 5:30pm PST February 17 Location: Legal Research Center, Lower Student Union

  • Gerald Torres

Legal Research Center, Lower Student Union

In 2020, this lecture is one of a number of events celebrating 50 years of environmental law at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Professor Gerald Torres will present the 2020 James L. Huffman Lecture In Honor of the Western Resources Legal Center. The lecture, titled “Law Making: Formal and Informal Paths to Durable Legal Change”, will be held on the law school campus. A reception for all attendees will be held directly following the lecture.

Gerald Torres is a leading figure in critical race theory, environmental law and federal Indian Law. He previously served as the Bryant Smith Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and taught at The University of Minnesota Law School, where he served as Associate Dean. He is also a former president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Torres has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and as counsel to then U.S. attorney general Janet Reno. Professor Torres was appointed Professor of Environmental Justice at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in November 2019.

His book, The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2002) with Harvard law professor Lani Guinier, was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “one of the most provocative and challenging books on race produced in years.” Torres’ many articles include “Translation and Stories” (Harvard Law Review, 2002), “Who Owns the Sky?” (Pace Law Review, 2001) (Garrison Lecture),”Taking and Giving: Police Power, Public Value, and Private Right” (Environmental Law, 1996), and “Translating Yonnondio by Precedent and Evidence: The Mashpee Indian Case” (Duke Law Journal, 1990).

Torres has served on the board of the Environmental Law Institute, the National Petroleum Council and on EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. He is currently Vice Chair of Earth Day Network and Board Chair of the Advancement Project as well as serving on the Board of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Texas League of Conservation Voters. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute. Torres was honored with the 2004 Legal Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for his work to advance the legal rights of Latinos.

He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Stanford and Yale law schools.

JAMES L. HUFFMAN joined the Lewis & Clark Law School faculty in 1973 and served as dean from 1993 to 2006. He has been a visiting professor at Auckland University, Francisco Marroquin University, the University of Oregon, and Athens University. His academic subjects have included constitutional law, natural resources law, water law, torts, jurisprudence, and legal history.

Jim has been a fellow with The Heritage Foundation and the Humane Studies Institute, and currently serves on the Hoover Institution Task Force on Property Rights, Freedom and Prosperity. He has written over 200 academic articles and chapters and writes regular commentaries for The Daily Caller and occasional op-eds for The Wall Street Journal, The Oregonian, The Washington Times, and other newspapers. In 2010, Jim was the Republican nominee for United States Senator from Oregon.

Jim serves on the editorial board of the Cato Supreme Court Review and the boards of the Classroom Law Project, the Federalist Society Property and Environment Practice Group, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and the Western Resources Legal Center. He is a graduate of Montana State University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the University of Chicago Law School.

The Western Resources Legal Center (WRLC) is a legal education program that provides top law students an opportunity to develop practical legal skills and specific knowledge of natural resources and environmental laws by assisting with the legal representation of farmers, ranchers, miners, foresters, resource developers, and other natural resource dependent entities.

Students gain an understanding of the litigation process and how laws impact the day to day operations of natural resource dependent businesses. Students also experience a more profound educational experience by personally observing how laws and litigation impact businesses, the economy, and local communities.

For more information or questions, please contact Alexis Burchett at

Registration for this event is now closed.

Event Cost

Free and open to the public.
1.0 MCLE credit will be sought for this event.

Event Contact

For more information or questions, please contact:
Alexis Burchett
Program Coordinator
Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law
(503) 768-6784

Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

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