Michael R. Barsa

Professor of Practice
Co-Director of the Environmental Law Concentration


Michael Barsa litigated numerous high-profile environmental and natural resources cases before joining the Northwestern faculty. He developed novel legal strategies in cases involving large-scale groundwater contamination from MTBE in gasoline, DDT off the California coast, subsurface trespass of oilfield water, international environmental harms arising from the first Gulf War, and recycling. His scholarly work has explored international environmental claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act, risk perception under environmental warning statutes, the Public Trust Doctrine, and the Deepwater Horizon disaster. In 2012, he was voted the Robert Childres Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence.


  • BA, Stanford University
  • MA, Stanford University
  • JD, Stanford University

Prior Appointments

  • Senior Lecturer, Northwestern University School of Law
  • 1999-2008, Munger, Tolles & Olson
  • Law Clerk, 1997-1998, Hon. Cynthia Holcomb Hall, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

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