Burger_M_0Former environmental litigator and Columbia Law School graduate Michael Burger ’03 was recently named the first executive director of the Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. Burger, who currently serves as an associate professor of law at Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island, will formally join the center in January.

“Michael’s addition will allow our center to reach a new level,” said Michael B. Gerrard, Center director and the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice. “I look forward to working with him on expanding our research and education programs and making an even greater impact.”

Burger has taught courses on environmental law, administrative law, and law and literature at Roger Williams since July 2010. He also established the school’s Environmental and Land Use Law Clinical Externship program. Prior to that, Burger served as a litigator in the Environmental Law Division of New York City’s Office of the Corporation Counsel for four years and as an acting assistant professor of lawyering at New York University School of Law for three years.

As a student at Columbia Law School, Burger participated in the Environmental Law Clinic and was articles editor for the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law.  Before pursing his J.D., he worked as a journalist and editor.  In addition, he has received an M.F.A in creative writing from New York University. Burger has published numerous articles and book chapters on environmental and natural resources law, including several on climate change law, and is frequently an invited speaker at law schools and universities around the country.

The Sabin Center, which develops legal techniques to fight climate change and prepare for its impacts, was founded in January 2009 at Columbia Law School. It is affiliated with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and has an extensive program of publications, public programs, and other educational activities. Burger’s hiring was made possible by an endowment grant for the center made earlier this year by the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation.

“The center has become a hub of climate change-related research, programming, and advocacy, and a trusted resource for lawyers, regulators, scholars, and others in the field,” Burger said. “I am excited about the opportunity to help further grow the center and to contribute to its effort to combat climate change.”

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