Stephen Roady
Professor of the Practice of Law

Steve Roady holds joint appointments as a professor of the practice at Duke Law School and as a faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. He also holds an appointment as a Professor of the Practice of Marine Science and Conservation with the Nicholas School.

His current research examines ways to protect air and water quality, and to manage natural resources sustainably. Prior to his appointment, he devoted more than three decades to litigation and administrative advocacy defending and enforcing the public health and environmental protections contained in federal statutes enacted originally in the United States between 1970 and 1990. His work focused particularly on air and water quality, mountains and streams, and ocean and coastal resources.

Steve helped draft the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 as a staff attorney for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He has worked closely on ocean policy and litigation since 1998, when he launched the Ocean Law Project. During 2001-2002, he was the first president of Oceana, a non-profit, international conservation organization that relies upon law, advocacy, and science to protect ocean life. Most recently, he managed the oceans program at Earthjustice (the public interest law firm known formerly as the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund).    

Steve is a graduate of Davidson College (A.B. 1971) and Duke Law School (J.D. 1976). 

He has been teaching a course on ocean and coastal law and policy at Duke Law School and at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment since 2003. He received a Professor of the Year Award from the Duke School of the Environment in 2008, and that same year was named a Public Interest Fellow by Harvard Law School. 

Steve has been a visiting professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii and a professorial lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In 2013, he provided separate briefings for members of the Irish and German governments on lessons learned in this country with respect to sustainable fishery management.

Steve’s most recent writings focus on ocean stewardship duties under the Public Trust Doctrine, including a chapter in Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy (2d ed. 2015). Other published work includes articles explaining key federal statutes and doctrines that protect ocean life and articles that detail the legislative history of permitting and enforcement provisions of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • Duke Law School, Box 90362, Durham, NC 27708
  • Duke Law School, Box 90362, Durham, NC 27708

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