Prof. Robert V. Percival

Professor of Law and Director, Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland School of Law

Professor Percival joined the Maryland faculty in 1987 after serving as senior attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund. While in law school, he served as managing editor of the Stanford Law Review and was named the Nathan Abbott Scholar for graduating first in his class. Percival served as a law clerk for Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White. Percival also served as a special assistant to the first U.S. Secretary of Education.

Percival is internationally recognized as a leading scholar in environmental law. He is principal author of the country's most widely used casebook in environmental law, Environmental Regulation: Law, Science & Policy, now in its sixth edition. He has written extensively on several topics, including environmental law, regulatory policy, federalism, presidential powers, and legal history. Percival has taught as a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School in 2000 and 2009 and at Georgetown University Law Center in 2005. He currently teaches Environmental Law, a Global Environmental Law Seminar,Constitutional Law, and Administrative Law at Maryland. In 2007 he was named the University's 'Teacher of the Year.'

During the spring semester 2008 Percival taught as a J. William Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. He previously taught as a Fulbright scholar at Comenius University Law School in Slovakia. Percival has lectured and presented environmental law workshops on six continents in countries including Australia, Chile, India, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, Uganda, Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union. He also has lectured at 15 universities and before several professional associations and government agencies in China. In 2009 he served as a Citizen Ambassador to China for the U.S. Department of State. Percival has served as the Natural Resource Law Institute Distinguished Visitor at Lewis & Clark College of Law and as a visiting professor of law at the University of Chile where he helped establish South America's first environmental law clinic. He also has taught summer courses at the University of British Columbia and at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Percival currently is working on the first casebook on 'Global Environmental Law.' He maintains a website developed for the casebook ( on which his weekly blog appears. The blog also is available at Percival is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law. In April 2009 he delivered Pace Law School's Lloyd K. Garrison Lecture on 'The Globalization of Environmental Law.'

Percival has served on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute and as co-chair of the steering committee of the D.C. Bar's Section on Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Law. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute. Percival has served as the contributing editor for Environment and Natural Resources for the Federal Circuit Bar Journal, as a special master for the U.S. District Court of Maryland, and as a member of the state of Maryland's Environmental Restoration and Development Task Force.

  • BA, 1972, Macalester College
  • MA, 1978, JD, 1978, Stanford University

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