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James Salzman

Jim Salzman

Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law

Environmental Law

Bren Hall 4418


James Salzman will be on leave in Fall 2023.


MSc, Engineering Sciences, Harvard University
JD cum laude, Harvard University
BA, History, Yale College


Jim Salzman is the Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law with joint appointments at the Bren School and UCLA Law School. In 12 books and more than 100 articles and book chapters, his broad-ranging scholarship has addressed topics spanning drinking water, trade and environment conflicts, ownership engineering, and the legal and institutional issues in creating markets for ecosystem services. One of the most read environmental law professors in the world, his work has been translated into six languages with over 115,000 article downloads. A dedicated classroom teacher, Salzman has twice been selected as Professor of the Year by students. He helped develop the environmental law curriculum at the Bren School and has taught the popular core course in that subject for two decades. Prior to joining the Bren faculty, he held distinguished chairs at Duke's law and environment schools. He frequently appears as a media commentator and has lectured on every continent. Active in government policy debates, he has served on both the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (reporting to the EPA) and the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (reporting to the EPA and USTR). He has served as a visiting law professor at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale as well as at universities in Australia, China, Israel, Italy, Portugal, and Sweden. His book, Drinking Water: A History, was praised as a “Recommended Read” by Scientific American and is now in paperback in its second edition. His bestseller, Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives ( , was featured in The New Yorker, New York Times, and named as one of the top five non-fiction books of the year by the Financial Times.

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