Center for Progressive Reform

William Funk

William Funk is the Lewis & Clark Distinguished Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.

Professor Funk regularly teaches environmental law, administrative law, and constitutional law. He has also taught toxic tort law, pollution control law, and a seminar on hazardous waste law. As part of government sponsored training programs, he has taught environmental law to federal judges and to employees of the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Professor Funk left the practice of law for academia in 1983, but has remained actively involved in the everyday world of environmental law and regulatory practice. Over the years, he has consulted for the U.S. Department of Energy, the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the Columbia River Gorge Commission, as well as for attorneys on particular cases. He chaired an advisory committee for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that developed Oregon's Green Permit regulations and served for a number of years on an advisory committee for the Oregon DEQ drafting regulations governing hazardous waste cleanups. Professor Funk has been active in the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, where he is a past Chair of the Section, as well as chairing committees and editing its newsletter.

After receiving his B.A. from Harvard and his J.D. from Columbia, Professor Funk clerked for Judge James Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He then joined the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice. After three years in that position, he became the Principal Staff Member of the Legislation Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In 1978 he joined the U.S. Department of Energy, first as a Deputy Assistant General Counsel and later as Assistant General Counsel. At the Department of Energy his principal responsibilities first involved the then-petroleum price and allocation system and later energy efficiency regulations and regulatory reform.

Professor Funk has published widely in the fields of administrative law, constitutional law, and environmental law. In particular he has focused on the intersections of administrative law and environmental law and of constitutional law and environmental law. For example, his article on the Supreme Court's Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County decision assessed the constitutional bases for regulating waters of the United States and demonstrated errors in the Court's statutory analysis of the Clean Water Act. His article on EPA's regulation of wood stoves through the use of negotiated rulemaking has been widely reprinted in various casebooks. Professor Funk is also a co-author of an environmental law casebook entitled Legal Protection of the Environment and he contributed a chapter entitled, “Preemption by Federal Agency Action,” in Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law, and Reality of Federalism’s Core Question, 2009, edited by fellow CPR Member Scholar William Buzbee.

As a law student, Professor Funk was one of the founding editors of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law. As a law professor, he has chaired both the Natural Resources Section and the Administrative Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. He has been a frequent speaker on environmental subjects in CLE programs. He was recently elected to the American Law Institute. 

William Funk
Lewis & Clark Law School
Portland, Oregon

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