UC Irvine School of Law Hires Environmental Law Clinic Director, Tax and Business Faculty


IRVINE, Calif., June 1, 2010 — UC Irvine School of Law has hired a director for its new Environmental Law Clinic, which will focus on protecting the natural resources of Southern California, as well as two new faculty members in taxation and business law to bolster the Law School’s upper-level curriculum.

Michael Robinson-Dorn, currently the environmental clinic director at the University of Washington School of Law, will teach law and direct UCI Law’s new Environmental Law Clinic, which launched last year with a $2 million grant. Robinson-Dorn, who holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria in British Columbia and a J.D. from Cornell Law School, has been involved with the fallout from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and was the executive producer of an Emmy-winning film about the continuing impacts of the spill.

"Michael brings a wealth of experience to build and direct our first legal clinic at UCI Law,' said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine School of Law. "His addition makes environmental law one of the great strengths of this law school."

Two other new faculty members, along with Robinson-Dorn, will begin in July: tax law expert Sarah B. Lawsky, of George Washington University Law School; and Christopher A. Whytock, of the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, who will teach Business Associations, among other things.

Lawsky earned a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an LL.M. in tax law from New York University. Called "one of the tax academy’s biggest rising stars" by TaxProf Blog, Lawsky has also taught at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Whytock earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, master’s and law degrees from Georgetown, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. His research focuses on transnational litigation, conflict of laws, international and comparative law, foreign relations law, and judicial decisionmaking. He won a university-wide teaching award in 2008.

"The addition of Sarah and Christopher to our faculty brings great strength to our upper-level curriculum in the areas of taxation and U.S. and international business law," Chemerinsky said. "They are both outstanding scholars and teachers."

CONTACT: Rex Bossert, Assistant Dean for Communications, rbossert@law.uci.edu; (949) 824-3063.


UC Irvine seeks to create the ideal law school for the 21st century by doing the best job of training lawyers for the practice of law at the highest levels of the profession. Recruited from prestigious schools, the law faculty was ranked 9th in the country in a recent study of scholarly impact. The first two classes at UCI Law, which opened in August 2009, have median grades and LSAT scores comparable to those of classes at top 20 law schools. The school’s innovative curriculum stresses experiential learning, interdisciplinary study and public service.