Richard Lazarus is the Howard J. and Katherine W. Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he teaches Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Supreme Court Advocacy, and Torts. He also recently served as the Executive Director of the President’s Commission responsible for investigating the root causes of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979 and has a B.S. from the University of Illinois in Chemistry and a B.A. in Economics. He has previously served on the law school faculties of Indiana University, Washington University, and Georgetown University, where he was the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Professor of Law. Professor Lazarus worked for the United States Justice Department, both in the Environment and Natural Resources Division (1979-83) and the Solicitor General's Office (1986-89), where he was Assistant to the Solicitor General.
Professor Lazarus has represented the United States, state and local governments, and environmental groups in the United States Supreme Court in 40 cases and has presented oral argument in 13 of those cases. He recently served as counsel of record for environmental respondents Riverkeeper et al in Entergy v. Riverkeeper, decided in April 2009, and co-counsel for respondents in Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, decided in June 2010. Professor Lazarus has won the faculty teaching award at both Washington University and Georgetown University.