Michael B. Gerrard

Michael B. Gerrard

Senior Counsel

Michael Gerrard is Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, and a member and former Chair of the Faculty of Columbia's Earth Institute. Until late 2008, he was the head of the New York office. He has practiced environmental law in New York since 1979. He has tried numerous cases and argued many appeals in federal and state courts and administrative tribunals, and handled the environmental aspects of many transactions and development projects. He also leads the Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative, a joint pro bono project of the Sabin Center and Arnold & Porter.

Michael has chaired the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; the Executive Committee of the New York City Bar, and the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Environment Lawyers, based on 4,000 questionnaires, reported that Michael "received more personal nominations for this guide than any other lawyer in the world." He has also been rated by Chambers USA and Who's Who Legal as the leading environmental lawyer in New York.

Michael has written or edited fourteen books, two of which were named Best Law Book of the Year by the Association of American Publishers: the twelve-volume Environmental Law Practice Guide (Matthew Bender 1992) and the four-volume Brownfields Law and Practice (Matthew Bender 1998). Among his most recent books are the third edition of Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (American Bar Association 2023, co-edited with Jody Freeman and Michael Burger); Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (Environmental Law Institute 2019, co-edited with John Dernbach), and Climate Engineering and the Law: Regulation and Liability for Solar Radiation Management and Carbon Engineering (Cambridge 2018, co-edited with Tracy Hester). Since 1986 he has written an environmental law column for the New York Law Journal, and since 1989 he has edited a monthly newsletter, Environmental Law in New York.

Michael has lectured on environmental law in Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Vatican City, Malta, Canada, Israel, China, Taiwan, India, Japan, the Marshall Islands, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Chile, as well as throughout the United States.



Best Lawyers
"Lawyers of the Year" Litigation: Environmental (NY) (2024)
Litigation: Environmental (NY) (2011-2024)
"New York City Lawyer of the Year" — Environmental (NY) (2010, 2012, 2019)
New York Law Journal
Lifetime Achievement (2022)
Who's Who Legal
"Thought Leader" – Environment (2017-2018)
Environmental Lawyers (2012)
Environmental Lawyers – "Most Highly Regarded Individual - Global" (2008, 2009, 2011)
Leading Environmental Lawyer in New York


  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1978, Root-Tilden Scholar
  • B.A., Columbia University, 1972
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States

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