Michael Robinson-Dorn

Co-Associate Dean for Experiential Education

Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Environmental Law Clinic

Michael Robinson-Dorn


Environmental law, natural resources, public lands, water, administrative law, clinical law


Michael Robinson-Dorn is the founding Director of the Environmental Law Clinic. He and his Clinic students represent clients on a wide range of environmental and natural resources matters, having appeared on behalf of those clients in trial and appellate courts across the country.

Professor Robinson-Dorn’s practice and research is concentrated in environmental and natural resources law. His recent law school classroom teaching includes climate justice, public lands law, natural resources law, water law, administrative law, and the Appellate and Environmental Law Clinics.

Prior to joining UC Irvine, Michael founded and directed the award-winning environmental law clinic at the University of Washington, where he was an Associate Professor of Law and an affiliate faculty with the Canadian Studies Center (Jackson School of International Studies), the Program on the Environment, and the College of the Environment. Michael has a particular interest in public lands and cross-boundary environmental and natural resources law issues. His previous scholarship includes articles in the NYU Environmental Law Journal and the University of Washington Law Review.

Michael earned his B.A. from the University of Victoria, and his J.D. from Cornell Law School. Prior to entering the academy in 2003, he practiced law for a dozen years in both private and public practice, including as a trial lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice, and as the Director of the Seattle City Attorney’s Environmental Protection Section.

Michael is a former member of the Board of the Clinical Legal Education Association.

(Log in to view full course descriptions in the UCI Law Course Catalog)

  • William H. Rodgers, Jr., Michael Robinson-Dorn, Jennifer K. Barcelos & Anna T. Moritz, Climate Change: A Reader (2011).

Prof. Robinson-Dorn's Scholarly Papers on SSRN

  • Nov. 3, 2021:
    Panelist, How Can Law Clinics Adapt to Tackle Climate Change?, King’s College London, Strathclyde and York, and the Clinical Legal Education Organization, Online
  • May 5, 2015:
    Engaging Students in Organizational Representation (with Professors Deborah Sivas and Helen Kang), AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Rancho Mirage, CA.
  • May 22, 2014:
    Do We Really Need a Revolution in Legal Skills Education? (with Professors Rachel Croskery-Roberts, Trilby Robinson-Dorn, Ezra Ross, and Henry Weinstein), 9th Global Legal Skills Conference, Verona, Italy.
  • April 4, 2014:
    Does the Environmental Movement Need More Color? Changing the Face of Environmentalism, The State Bar of California Environmental Law Section, UCLA Environmental Law Center
  • Sep. 25, 2013: Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, CLEANR Environmental Literature & Film Series
  • May 3, 2013: Co-host and moderator, Ocean Acidification: Law & Governance, Toward a Sustainable 21st Series, UC Irvine
  • Oct. 2, 2012: CLEANR Guest Speaker Joseph Sax at UCI Law
  • June 2012: Presenting, "Fellow Travelers," AALS Clinical Law Conference
  • March 9, 2011: Presenting "Climate Engineering: What the Law Has to Say" as part of a geoengineering and climate change lecture series, University of Washington
  • Jan. 28, 2011: Presenting "The ESA Through a Different Lens: Ethics for Government Lawyers and The Lawyers Against Whom They Litigate" at 18th annual Endangered Species Act conference, Seattle
  • Nov. 12, 2010: Co-host, "Preserving the Environment of the Arctic Region" symposium at UC Irvine
  • April 2010: Panelist on Climate Adaptation at 2010 Idaho Law Review Symposium, "Energy Independence: Challenges Facing the West in Adopting Alternative and Renewable Energy Resources"
  • Spring 2010: Panelist on U.S. Environmental Law at the 1st Human Rights and Environmental Law Symposium, Korean Bar Association, Cheongju, South Korea
  • January 2011: Named a 2011 Bellow Scholar with Scott Schumacher of University of Washington School of Law and Carroll Seron of UC Irvine for their project, Fellow Travelers, a systematic study of clinical teaching fellowships. The Bellow Scholars award, presented by the AALS Committee on Lawyering in the Public Interest, recognizes lawyer-scholars studying various aspects of the justice system with a focus on access to justice and the role of law and the university.