Over a decade earlier, she received a competitive Equal Justice Works Fellowship (formerly NAPIL) and an Echoing Green Fellowship to found and direct Midwest Environmental Advocates, Wisconsin's first non-profit environmental law center.
Selected as a Wisconsin Super Lawyers' Rising Star in 2006, 2007, and 2008, Professor Scanlan has represented clients in high impact lawsuits and shaped public policy in areas ranging from the Great Lakes Compact and water supply issues to enforcement and implementation of the Clean Water Act.
Melissa Scanlan earned a law degree and Master of Science in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California-Berkeley. Her scholarly articles have focused on the public trust doctrine, the Great Lakes Compact, adaptive management, and empirical research about water management.
Outside her scholarly work, she is co-founder of the Washington Heights Community Garden, and keeps thousands of honey bees in her backyard.
Law for the New Economy: Sustainable, Just, and Democratic, (Melissa K. Scanlan ed., forthcoming 2017).
"Climate Change, System Change, and the Path Forward,” a chapter in Law and Policy for a New Economy: Sustainable, Just, Democratic, M. Scanlan, ed., Edward Elgar, (forthcoming 2016)
"Trails Take Flight: Connecting People, Places, and Possibilities,” at the International Trails Symposium 2017, Dayton, OH, May 8, 2017.
“The Role of the Courts in Guarding Against Privatization of Important Public Environmental Resources,” at Yale Law School, New Haven, CT, April, 2017.
Panelist, "The Role of the Courts in Guarding Against Privatization of Important Public Environmental Resources," 7th Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT, September 24,2016.
Plenary speaker presentation, "The Role of the Courts in Guarding Against Privatization of Important Public Environmental Resources," IUCNAEL Colloquium: The Environment In Court, Oslo, Norway, June 20-26, 2016.
Co-host and moderator, "Law for the New Economy," University of California Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, May 23 - 24, 2016.
University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI, Invited Speaker, April 2, 2015, Blueprint for the Great Lakes Trail.
Awards & Accomplishments
Awards, Honors or Grants
Wisconsin Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2006, 2007, 2008
Mesa Refuge Writing Fellowship, June 2005
Echoing Green Fellowship, 1999 - 2003
National Association of Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works) Fellowship, 1999 – 2001
State Bar of Wisconsin, 1999 – present
US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, 2003 – present
Board member, Environmental Law Section of the Wisconsin Bar Association, 2010 – 2013
US District Court of the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, 2000 – present
Board member, Midwest Environmental Advocates, 2010 – present