Since graduating from the University of Montana School of Law with honors in 1985, Professor Jack Tuholske practiced public interest environmental litigation in state and federal court in Montana and the West for 35 years. He had been lead counsel for over 50 published decisions, including over a dozen successful cases at the Montana Supreme Court in the fields of water pollution, land use, biodiversity, constitutional law, citizen suits and natural resource management. In recognition of his public interest work, he received the William O. Douglas Award, the Sierra Club’s highest award, in 2002 and the Kerry Rydberg Award in 2010 by the University of Oregon Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.
Professor Tuholske's passion for teaching led him into the classroom first at the University of Montana and then at Vermont Law School where he taught from 2003 to 2018. Jack regarded VLS as an innovative institution and allowed him to create a unique two-week summer backpacking field seminar teaching public land management. In addition, he founded and was the Director of the VLS Water and Justice Program. He was appointed as the Faculty Advisor to the VLS U.S.-Asia Partnerships in Environmental Law and travelled to China fifteen times between 2011 and 2020. In China Professor Tuholske worked with the Supreme People’s Court, National Judges College, National Procuratorate College, NGOs, attorneys, professors and students throughout China to collaborate in the development of environmental protection laws and practice. In 2009 he also taught at the Law Faculty of University of Ljubljana in Slovenia as a Fulbright Scholar.
In addition to classroom teaching, he developed and taught the first online law class at VLS in 2011. Professor Tuholske taught more than 30 online classes for VLS, designed and taught classes in climate crisis law and policy, administrative law and natural resources law.
His combination of courtroom advocacy, scholarship and classroom teaching provided him an "excellent bridge between legal theory and on-the-ground practice for environmental protection".
Jack Tuholske’s 30 year legal career focused on public interest environmental litigation in state and federal court in Montana and the West. He had been lead counsel for over 50 published decisions, including over a dozen successful cases at the Montana Supreme Court in the fields of water law, land use, constitutional law and natural resource management. In recognition of his public interest work, he was awarded the William O. Douglas Award by the Sierra Club in 2002 and the Kerry Rydberg Award in 2010 by the University of Oregon Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.
Jack was on the Vermont Law School faculty for 17 years, from 2003, teaching a wide range of Summer Programs, traditional law and Distance Learning courses. In 2009 he taught at the Law Faculty of University of Ljubljana in Slovenia as a Fulbright Scholar. In 2011 he co-founded the Water and Justice Program at Vermont, providing students with an opportunity to work on water-related policy and legal questions for NGOs from around the country. He also served as Technical Advisor to VLS’s U.S.- Asia Partnership in Environmental Law, and regularly travelled to China to help develop public interest environmental litigation in China. Each summer he led a dozen students into the wilds of Montana and Idaho for the Montana Public Lands Field Seminar, a traditional law class taught entirely in the backcountry.
Tuholske, Jack and Judge Sun Qian, “Explorations of and Reflections on China's System of Environmental Public Interest Litigation,” published in the June edition of the Environmental Law Reporter, 47 ELR 10497.