Marc Mihaly


Marc Mihaly, one of the nation’s leading environmental law attorneys, was named president and dean of Vermont Law School in 2012. He was a visiting professor in 2004–05 and joined the regular VLS faculty in 2005. He served as the acting associate dean of environmental programs and director of the Environmental Law Center in 2005–06 and associate dean and director from 2007–12. He is an expert in land use, urban planning, and energy law and policy. At VLS, he has taught Land Transactions, Finance and Development; Advanced Land Use Law; Energy Regulation, Markets and the Environment; and Contracts. He spent the 2011–12 academic year teaching at the University of Seville School of Law.

Professor Mihaly received his BA degree from Harvard College and, after service in the Peace Corps, received his JD degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, where he was editor in chief of the Ecology Law Quarterly. He then served with the environmental unit of the California Attorney General's Office and with the San Mateo County Legal Aid Society. He co-founded Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger in San Francisco in 1980 and served as its managing partner for 17 years. His practice included three decades of trial and appellate litigation practice on behalf of governments and community-based organizations on environmental issues. He developed the firm’s low-income housing practice, initiated the energy practice, and focused on all aspects of growth limitation. He has provided advice and counsel to state, regional, and local governments as well as specialized environmental agencies on all aspects of environmental law. His work has included the design of sophisticated regulatory regimes to regulate development and to secure public benefits through private development. He advises environmental regulators on government law issues relating to the form and structure of their regulatory programs.



​Kelo's Trail: A Survey of State and Federal Legislative and Judicial Activity Five Years Later,​ 38 Ecology Law Quarterly 3 (2011).
Recovery of a Lost Decade (or is it Three?): Developing the Capacity in Government Necessary to Reduce Carbon Emissions and Administer Energy Markets, 88 Oregon Law Review 407 (2010).​​
Citizen Participation in the Making of Environmental Decisions: Evolving Obstacles and Potential Solutions through Partnership with Experts and Agents, 27 Pace Environmental Law Review 151 (2009).​
Living in the Past: The Kelo Court and Public-Private Economic Development, 34 Ecology Law Quarterly 1 (2007). ​

Awards & Accomplishments

Service Work

​Three decades of trial and appellate litigation practice on behalf of governments and community based organizations on environmental issues.

In Land Use Law, represented of the California Attorney General in several of the first cases enforcing the statutory obligations of local jurisdictions to complete and adopt legally adequate general plans and ensure zoning consistency with the adopted plan.

Drafted some of the earliest agricultural protection initiatives in California in the early 1980s on behalf of coalition of farmers and environmentalists.

Created transferable development rights ordinances, including the TDR scheme that preserves downtown San Francisco.

Represented cities in securing large and complex public-private projects. Professor Mihaly has served as lead outside counsel to the following: the City of Sacramento, CA, as it addressed proposals by Southern Pacific to redevelop the 240-acre Southern Pacific Rail Yards; lead outside counsel to the City of Alameda, CA, with redevelopment of both the Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FISC) and the Naval Air Station.


​Co-founding partner; managing partner, Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger, San Francisco, CA, 1980–2004.

Visiting distinguished professor of environmental law from public interest practice 2004–05.

A member of the regular Vermont Law School faculty since 2005.

Served as acting associate dean of environmental programs and acting director of the Environmental Law Center in 2005–06.

Has served as Associate Dean of the Environmental Law Programs and Director of the Environmental Law Center since August 2007.

​Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, 1976–77.

Other Accomplishments or Activities

​Editor in Chief, Ecology Law Quarterly, 1973–74.

​United States Peace Corps, El Salvador, 1969–71.

​Deputy attorney general, Environmental Unit, California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, 1976–80.