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Professor of Policy and Practice, UCLA School of Law, University of California, Los Angeles

Sean B. Hecht is the Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and Evan Frankel Professor of Policy and Practice, at UCLA School of Law. He works with students to serve environmental organizations and government agencies in his role as co-director of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic. He teaches Public Natural Resources Law and Policy, Environmental Law, and a California State Environmental Law Seminar, in addition to the Environmental Law Clinic. Sean is a frequent speaker and media commenter on a wide range of environmental, natural resources, and energy law and policy issues. He collaborates on projects with practicing environmental lawyers, environmental and environmental justice advocacy organizations, policymakers, and the business community. Sean’s research interests include developing legal and policy tools for building resilience to climate change’s projected impacts; analyzing state and federal greenhouse gas emission reduction programs; analyzing the insurance and finance sectors’ roles in addressing climate change; examining the relationship between environmental justice and mainstream environmental advocacy; and analyzing the role of environmental impact analysis under CEQA, NEPA, and other laws in protecting health and the environment.

Sean is a past chair of the State Bar of California’s environmental law section, and the founding (past) board chair of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation, a nonprofit that works to mitigate Port-related environmental impacts, including environmental justice impacts, and improve environmental quality in the near-Port Los Angeles communities of San Pedro and Wilmington. He earned his B.A. degree at Yale University, and his J.D. at the University of Michigan, and served as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice, Environment Section, before coming to UCLA. He blogs about environmental law and policy topics at

Along with co-counsel in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (Newhall Ranch), Sean received the 2016 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award for environmental law. The CLAY Award is given annually by The Daily Journal and California Lawyer to a lawyer or team of lawyers whose work in a particular field of law has had significant impact in the preceding year.


  • –present
    Professor of Policy and Practice; Co-Executive Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment; and Co-Director, UCLA Law Environmental Law Clinic, University of California, Los Angeles