David M. Driesen

Professor David Driesen, a white man with short gray hair and a gray goatee, wearing a gray suit jacket over a blue collared shirt smiles in front of an orange background.University Professor

(315) 443-4218
Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Professor David M. Driesen, University Professor at the College of Law, focuses on constitutional law, law and economics, and environmental law. Professor Driesen has written four books: The Specter of DictatorshipJudicial Enabling of Presidential Power (Stanford University Press) The Economic Dynamics of Law (Cambridge University Press), the textbook Environmental Law: A Conceptual and Pragmatic Approach (Aspen Kluwer with Robert Adler and Kirsten Engel) and The Economic Dynamics of Environmental Law (MIT Press), which won the Lynton Keith Caldwell Award—a prize offered by The American Political Science Association annually for the best book published in science, technology, and environmental studies. He has also published two edited volumes, Beyond Environmental Law: Policy Proposals for a Better Future (Cambridge University Press with Alyson Flournoy) and Economic Thought and U.S. Climate Change Policy (MIT Press). He has published numerous articles with leading journals, such as Cornell Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Ecology Law Quarterly, Harvard Environmental Law Review, and the Virginia Journal of International Law, Emory Law Journal, and several book chapters.

Driesen engages in public service defending democracy, environmental law’s constitutionality and efforts to combat the climate crisis. He has written numerous amicus briefs in Supreme Court cases and has represented Senators Hillary Clinton and others in Clean Air Act litigation in the DC Circuit. He is a member scholar with the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR), and blogs often on climate disruption issues for CPR and for RegBlog. He has worked as a consultant for American rivers and other environmental groups on Clean Water Act issues and has testified before Congress on implementation of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

Professor Driesen was a Senior Project Attorney for The Natural Resources Defense Council, in its Air and Energy Program. Before that, he clerked for Justice Robert Utter of the Washington State Supreme Court and worked in the Special Litigation Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

Driesen joined the College of Law faculty in 1995. He was the Distinguished Summer Scholar in 2008 at Vermont Law School and a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan Law School in 2006.

Driesen holds a J.D. from the Yale Law School, a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory. Currently, Professor Driesen performs with the Excelsior Cornet Band and the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble.


  • Yale Law School
    J.D. 1989
  • Yale School of Music
    M.Mus. 1983
  • Oberlin Conservatory of Music
    B.Mus. 1980