Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Faculty Profile

Arthur F. McEvoy

Arthur F. McEvoy

Paul E. Treusch Professor of Law

A.B., History, 1973, and J.D., 1989, Stanford University; M.A., U.S. History, 1978, and Ph.D., U.S. Economic History, 1979, University of California, San Diego; Member, Illinois State Bar; Order of the Coif

Courses    Publications

Phone: (213) 738-6808
Office: BW321

Arthur F. McEvoy came to Southwestern in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was the J. Willard Hurst Professor of Law and had been a member of the faculty since 1994. He held joint appointments in the Department of History and the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at Madison, serving as chair of the Environment and Resources Program. Prior to joining the Wisconsin faculty, he spent 14 years on the History faculty at Northwestern University, where he was named as the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence and was honored for his teaching several times by Northwestern's student government. He also served as a Research Fellow and co-editor of Law & Social Inquiry at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago.

"I'm particularly interested in the vital relationships between environmental and other progressive areas of law including individual rights, social justice, corporate responsibility and political democracy."

Professor McEvoy teaches in the areas of administrative law, American legal history, environmental law, water rights law, and torts. "Teaching legal history and environmental law at the same time has taught me a lot about the state of our legal system at this critical time in our history," Professor McEvoy says. "I'm particularly interested in the vital relationships between environmental and other progressive areas of law including individual rights, social justice, corporate responsibility and political democracy." He served as Southwestern's Associate Dean for Faculty Research from 2011 - 2014, bringing tremendous experience in legal scholarship to the post, and in recognition of his outstanding teaching and scholarship, he was named as the Paul E. Treusch Professor of Law in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Professor McEvoy's book, The Fisherman's Problem: Ecology and Law in the California Fisheries, 1850-1980 (Cambridge University Press, 1986), has garnered awards from the Law and Society Association, the American Historical Association, the American Society for Environmental History, and the North American Society for Oceanic History. His writing on law-and-environment issues has been translated into Spanish and Russian, and he has published articles on workplace safety and on natural disasters. He is currently at work on a book on the development of modern U.S. environmental law. Professor McEvoy has served as amicus counsel in several U.S. Supreme Court cases, all of them dealing with tort damages.


Books and Chapters


Keeping Up with Legal History in TEACHING LEGAL HISTORY (B. Jarvis, ed.; forthcoming 2014)

The Agency of Law in Natural Catastrophe: A Historical Analysis in LOSING GROUND A NATION ON EDGE (Environmental Law Institute, 2007)

Freedom of Contract, Labor, and the Administrative State in THE STATE AND FREEDOM OF CONTRACT (Stanford University Press, 1998)

Markets and Ethics in US Property Law in WHO OWNS AMERICA?: SOCIAL CONFLICT OVER PROPERTY RIGHTS (University of Wisconsin Press, 1998)

Conservation and the Environment in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996)


Historical Interdependence Between Ecology, Production, and Management in the California Fisheries in SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES FOR RESOURCE MANAGERS (USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 1996)

Historia y Ecologia de las pesquerías del Nordeste del Oceano Pacifico in HISTORIA Y ECOLOGIA (Marcial Pons, 1993)


Environmental Law and the Collapse of New Deal Constitutionalism, 46 AKRON LAW REVIEW 881 (2013)

Privilege and Responsibility, 42 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW AND POLICY 23 (2013)

The Role of Law in Engineering 'Natural' Disasters, 3 ONATI SOCIO-LEGAL SERIES 293 (2013), reprinted in DISASTERS AND SOCIO-LEGAL STUDIES 155 (S. Sterett ed.; 2013)

The Agency of Law in Natural Disaster: A Historical Analysis, 6 ENVIRONMENTAL & ENERGY LAW & POLICY JOURNAL 1 (2011)

A New Realism for Legal Studies, 2005 WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW 433 (2005)

Willard Hurst's Scholarship: Pragmatism and Morality, 1997 WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW 1191 (1997)

Questioning the 'Tragedy of the Commons' Model of Fisheries, 72 LAND ECONOMICS 187 (with D. Feeney and S. Hanna; 1996)

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911: Social Change, Industrial Accidents, and the Evolution of Common-Sense Causality, 20 LAW AND SOCIAL INQUIRY 621 (1995)

Working Environments: An Ecological Approach to Industrial Health and Safety, 36 TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE 145 (1995)

K interaktivnoi teorii prirody i kul'tury: ekologiia, produktsiia i poznanie v kaliforniiskom rybnom promysle, 3 VOPROSY ISTORII ESTESTVOZNANIIA I TEKHNIKI 101 (1994)

Canadian Fisheries and Social Science: New and Old Approaches to Managing Renewable Resources, 22 AMERICAN REVIEW OF CANADIAN STUDIES 271 (1992)

Science, Culture, and Politics in U.S. Natural Resource Management, 25 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF BIOLOGY 469 (1992)

Animal Liberation: The Moral Equivalent of Abolitionism, 18 REVIEWS IN AMERICAN HISTORY 425 (1990)

Toward an Interactive Theory of Nature and Culture: Ecology, Production, and Cognition in the California Fishing Industry, 11 ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW 289 (1987)

Scientists, Entrepreneurs, and the Policy Process: A Study of the Post-1945 California Sardine Depletion, 44 JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORY 393 (with H. Scheiber; 1984)

Law, Public Policy, and Industrialization in the California Fisheries, 1900-1925, 57 BUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW 494 (1983)

Scientific Research and the Twentieth-Century Fishing Industry, 23 CALIFORNIA OCEANIC FISHERIES INVESTIGATIONS REPORTS 48 (1982)

In Places Men Reject: Chinese Fishermen at San Diego, 1870-1893, 23 JOURNAL OF SAN DIEGO HISTORY 12 (1977)

Book Review, David F. Arnold's The Fisherman's Frontier: People and Salmon in Southeast Alaska, 96 JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY 296 (2009)