Alumnus Cale Jaffe '01 to Join Faculty, Direct Environmental and Regulatory Law Clinic

Cale Jaffe '01, whose expertise and interest is primarily in energy law and policy, plans to bring clinic students into cases involving renewable energy development.

June 22, 2016

Alumnus Cale Jaffe '01, an environmental and regulatory law expert, will join the University of Virginia School of Law faculty and direct the Environmental and Regulatory Law Clinic beginning this fall.

"I'm thrilled to be returning to UVA to help grow a prominent clinic program at one of the nation's most elite law schools. It's a dream opportunity, and I'm eager to make the most of it," Jaffe said.

Jaffe previously spent 12 years as an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, a preeminent environmental public interest law firm headquartered in Charlottesville, most recently as director of the center’s Virginia office.

Jaffe was part of the SELC team that won a unanimous victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy in 2007. He has litigated before the Supreme Court of Virginia and in numerous energy-related cases before the Virginia State Corporation Commission. In 2014, he was appointed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to serve on the Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission.

Jaffe has taught at the school before; from 2006 to 2013, he was an adjunct lecturer for a seminar on environmental law and federalism. In his first year at UVA as a professor, Jaffe will teach the clinic, assist with the Environmental and Land Use Law Program, and help with the annual symposium sponsored by the Virginia Environmental Law Journal.

"The challenge is to integrate an expanding role of the clinic into the academic life of the law school in a way that augments the intellectual rigor of the institution," Jaffe said. "To do that, the clinic will take on meaningful casework, provide a forum for engaging discussion and develop opportunities for students to interact with key policymakers."

Jaffe says he expects to bring clinic students into cases involving renewable energy development, an area in which he is expert.

"A lot of national energy policy is actually made at the state level, before state public utility commissions, which regulate electric utilities," Jaffe said. "It's an area of regulatory law that is often overlooked, but critically important. So I expect the clinic will have some involvement in matters before the Virginia State Corporation Commission, which is Virginia's public utility commission.  And we will of course keep our eye on the major national developments before the Environmental Protection Agency."

The clinic, which already has a relationship with the Southern Environmental Law Center, provides students with an opportunity to gain professional work experience in the office of a nationally prominent law and policy organization. (More)

Professor Jon Cannon, director of the Law School's Environmental and Land Use Law Program and former general counsel for the EPA, said the Law School was fortunate to attract Jaffe to direct the clinic.

"Cale is an exceptionally thoughtful and effective environmental lawyer and strategist," Cannon said. "He is also a skilled teacher, whose previous offerings as a lecturer at the law school won student acclaim. His appointment will define a new era for the clinic and further strengthen the Law School’s Environmental and Land Use Law Program."

Jaffe earned his J.D. from the Law School, his M.A. in legal history from UVA and his B.A. in American Studies from Yale University. While at Virginia, he served as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Environmental Law Journal, and was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Raven Society. After graduation, he clerked for Judge Norman K. Moon of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia and Judge Roger L. Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

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