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Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy

Environmental Advocacy Clinic Director
Assistant Professor of Law
Environmental Law Center
Environmental Advocacy Clinic

Jim Murphy


Jim Murphy is the Director of the Environmental Advocacy Clinic. He joined the Clinic in 2019 and also serves as the Legal Advocacy Director of the National Wildlife Federation. Jim has focused his work on legal engagement on behalf of people, places, and wildlife with the judicial, administrative, and legislative branches of government with a focus on energy, climate, and water issues. He has worked over the years to advance legal and regulatory solutions to carbon pollution, protecting wildlife from harmful fossil fuel projects, promoting clean, wildlife-friendly renewable energy, safeguarding wetlands and waters from pollution and destruction, and protecting endangered species. Jim has represented NWF and other conservation groups as party or amici in several precedent setting cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts. He has been extensively published in law reviews and other legal publications on issues such as water policy and law, transportation and smart growth, and energy production. He also frequently speaks at national legal conferences on environmental issues, and is an editorial board member of the ABA’s Natural Resources and Environment journal. Jim serves on several boards, including the American Wind Wildlife Institute, where he recently served as Chair, and the Vermont advisory board of Conservation Law Foundation.  Prior to joining NWF in 2003, he worked with the Conservation Law Foundation, in private practice, and on Capitol Hill.  He has an LL.M., summa cum laude, in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School, a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Vermont.



"The U.S. Forest Service's Expanding Use of 'Condition-Based Management' - Functional and Legal Problems from Short-Circuiting the Project-Planning and EIS Process" (with Mason Overstreet, Andrew Cliburn, Paul Quackenbush, and Madison Prokott), ABA Section on Energy, Environment, and Resources (May 2021).

"To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild? An Examination of NEPA and the Environmental Regulatory State" (with Madison Hertzog), Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (January 2021).


"The Forest for the Trees: Short-Circuiting Environmental Review for National Forest Cuts” (with Mason Overstreet), Hot Topics in Environmental Law Lecture Series, Vermont Law School (June 2021).