Prof. Peter Appel

Alex W. Smith Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law

Peter A. Appel joined the University of Georgia School of Law faculty in 1997 and teaches in the areas of property, natural resources law and environmental law. In 2011, he was named the Alex W. Smith Professor of Law.

Appel’s research spans three primary areas: the use of law to promote sustainable commerce, wilderness preservation and the courts, and more traditional doctrinal scholarship in environmental and natural resources law. His work has appeared in the Stanford Environmental Law Journal(forthcoming 2010), the Boston College Environmental Affairs Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Washington University Law Quarterly and the Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (Macmillan Reference, 2008). In addition to these articles focusing on the environmental and natural resources areas, Appel has addressed more traditional topics in property law such as the rule against perpetuities (Journal of Legal Education, 2004), Roman law and its relation to American civil procedure (Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, 2002) and the role of the entailment in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Law and Literature Association of Australia Conference, November 2002).

In addition to his teaching at UGA, Appel has also served as an instructor to senior members of federal agencies. He has been invited to train federal wilderness managers at the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, a facility in Missoula, Mont., run jointly by all federal agencies responsible for wilderness management. He also taught environmental laws and regulations to employees of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Appel developed a practical understanding of environmental issues through his six years of service as an attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to holding that position, he clerked for Chief Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

From 1999 to 2001, Appel served as a Lilly Teaching Fellow at the University of Georgia. The campus-wide program offers support and discussion to a select few UGA professors who show strong promise in both teaching and scholarship. Lilly Fellows also receive funds to develop new instructional programs over their two-year fellowship.

Appel earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Yale University, where he served on the notes editing committee of the Yale Law Journal and was a member of the Yale Law and Policy Review.

  • B.A., J.D.,Yale University

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Publications and Multimedia
Water Access Rights: City of Tombstone v. USA, et al - Podcast
Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Group Podcast
April 04, 2013