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Prof. E. Donald Elliott

Senior Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP and Adjunct Professor of Law, Yale Law School

E. Donald Elliott is Professor (Adjunct) of Law at Yale Law School and a leading academic scholar, as well as practitioner, in the fields of administrative and environmental law. He has been on the Yale Law faculty since 1981 and currently teaches courses in environmental law, energy law, administrative law and civil procedure. He is also senior of counsel in the Washington D.C. office of Covington & Burling LLP, practicing in the firm's Environmental Practice Group. From 2003 until he joined Covington in 2013, he was a partner in Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, chairing the firm’s worldwide Environment, Health and Safety Department.

From 1989 to 1991, Elliott served as Assistant Administrator and General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 1993, he was named to the first endowed chair in environmental law and policy at any major American law school, the Julien and Virginia Cornell Chair in Environmental Law and Litigation at Yale Law School. From 2003-2009, he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, which advises the federal government on environmental issues. Elliott also testifies frequently in Congress on environmental issues.

He has served as a consultant on improving the relationship of law and science to the Federal Courts Study Committee, which was chartered by Congress to make recommendations for improving the federal courts, and to the Carnegie Commission for Law, Science and Government. He co-chaired the National Environmental Policy Institute’s Committee on Improving Science at EPA. 

Elliott is a Senior Fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) and an elected member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, as well as a member of the boards of the Environmental Law Institute, the Center for Clean Air Policy, and NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity. He is the author or co-author of seven books and has published more than 70 articles in professional journals. He was named one of the top 25 environmental attorneys in the United States by the National Law Journal and is highly ranked in Chambers USA: Leading Lawyers for Business; Best Lawyers in America; D.C. Super Lawyers; Who’s Who in American Law; and Who’s Who in the World. 

He earned both his B.A., summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from Yale. Following graduation, he was a law clerk for Gerhard Gesell in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and for Chief Judge David Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

Education
  • J.D., Yale, 1974
  • B.A., Yale, 1970
Publications and Multimedia
Improving the Use of Science for Policy - Podcast
Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group Podcast
May 17, 2013
Twombly in Context: Or Why Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(b) Is Unconstitutional
Engage Volume 12, Issue 3, November 2011
January 11, 2012
The Future of Regulatory Review - Event Audio/Video
Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group
March 21, 2011