Ethan Shenkman brings more than 16 years of government experience to bear on his wide-ranging environmental practice. He served for seven years as a political appointee in the Obama Administration, most recently as Deputy General Counsel at the US Environmental Protection Agency and, prior to that, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the US Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division. He previously served as a career attorney and litigator at DOJ for nine years.

During his post as Deputy General Counsel at the EPA, he oversaw the agency's legal and regulatory work across a wide range of issues. He was responsible for Clean Air Act regulations and litigation, cross-cutting administrative law issues, international environmental law, and Native American tribal affairs. He also provided counsel for numerous key administration initiatives related to greenhouse gas pollution and climate change, international environmental agreements, free trade agreements and investment treaties, and tribal treaty rights.

In his role at DOJ, he managed a broad spectrum of litigation and policy initiatives, including supervising the Appellate Section, which handles appellate and Supreme Court cases across environment and natural resources law, and the Indian Resources Section. Mr. Shenkman also provided legal advice to federal agencies on environment and natural resources matters, ranging from NEPA to infrastructure and energy development. He has argued dozens of precedent-setting cases and received numerous achievement awards for his service, including the John Marshall Award for new Attorney General prosecution policy regarding application of eagle protection laws to tribal members, and the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award for leading the Everglades trial team.

Mr. Shenkman served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Following his clerkship, he was selected as a Bristow Fellow at the Office of the Solicitor General. Mr. Shenkman received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Review.

Perspectives

Tribal Treaty Rights Now Driving Environmental Law Developments (pdf)
Environmental Law Institute (www.eli.org)
EPA Signals More Enforcement Cases for Aftermarket Parts Manufacturers
Advisory
Trump Infrastructure Plan Takes Aim at Statutory Review Requirements
Advisory
Clean Power Plan Rollback (and Possible Replacement)
Webinar, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
Environmental Reviews for Infrastructure Projects in the Trump Era (pdf)
Environmental Law in New York, Volume 29, No. 01
More

Recognition

The Legal 500 US
Environment: Litigation (2018)
Environment: Regulatory (2018)
Environment: Arbitration (2018)
US Department of Justice John Marshall Award for Outstanding Achievement in Providing Legal Advice (2013)
Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in Litigation (2011)
More

Credentials

Education
  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 1994, Order of the Coif, Hardy Cross Dillard Scholar
  • BA, Yale University, 1989, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions
  • District of Columbia
Government and Military Service
  • Deputy General Counsel, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division
  • Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division
  • Honors Attorney, Appellate Section and Law & Policy Section, US Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division
  • Bristow Fellow, Office of the Solicitor General, US Department of Justice
Clerkships
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, The Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer
Activities
  • Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Overview

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