Michele Okoh

Assistant Professor of Law

Legal Research Center 323
Legal Assistant:




Michele Okoh is an Assistant Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School teaching criminal law and criminal procedure. Her scholarship is at the intersection of criminal justice, environmental justice, and public health law. For her, scholarship is part of advocacy, and she remains committed to service.

She currently serves as the section councilor for the Environment Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and represents both the Law Section and Environment Section on the Action Board of APHA. She previously was co-chair of the Environmental Justice Committee of APHA with Charles Lee. She is also a recipient of the 2021 Rebecca A. Head Award which is presented by the Environment Section of APHA to an outstanding emerging leader working at the intersection of environmental justice, policy, and science.

Prior to joining the Lewis & Clark Law Faculty, she was a senior lecturing fellow for the Duke Environmental Law & Policy Clinic. Okoh’s extensive professional legal experience includes representing the state of North Carolina as both a prosecutor and as an attorney with the N.C. Department of Justice. As the managing attorney in her own law firm, Okoh Law Firm, she practiced disability law and served as a defense attorney. She gained policy and litigation experience through her post-law school work with the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Honorable Allyson Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Okoh received her JD from Duke University School of Law. She also earned an M.P.H. from the George Washington University and a BA from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

She is passionate about theatre and has acted in and directed several plays, including the regional premiere of Eclipsed for the Women’s Theatre Festival. She is also a fan of hiking and all things horror and science fiction.

Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions

Academic Credentials

  • MPH, Public Health, The George Washington University
  • JD, Duke University School of Law
  • BA, cum laude, University of Louisiana at Lafyette



  • A Drop in the Bucket: North Carolina’s Neglected Water Problem–Private Well Water Contamination, North Carolina Civil Rights Law Review (forthcoming) (with Claire Mullaney)
  • America Erased, in Facing the Worst Climate Case: The Role of Law (forthcoming)
  • Environmental Impacts on Maternal Health, in Practical Playbook III: Working Together to Improve Maternal Health (N.D. Hernandez, ed., forthcoming)
  • Forgotten Waters, Georgetown Law Journal(forthcoming)

Articles & Essays

  • Adapting to a 4°C World, 52 Environmental Law Reporter 10211-10239 (2022) (with others)
  • The Need for Social Support From Law Schools During the Era of Social Distancing, 16 FIU Law review 117-132 (2021) (with Inès Ndonko Nnoko)
  • Shining Light on COVID-19 Medical Waste, 46 Administrative & Regulatory Law News 4-5 (2020)

Newspaper Articles and Commentary

  • America Erased, GreenLaw (October 8, 2021)
  • Race & Equity in Durham, Community Blog (Durham Committee on the Affairs Of Black People) (September 24, 2021)
  • Government Should Protect Private Information to Defend Public Health, The Hill (May 21, 2020)