Professor John Leshy came to UC Hastings in the fall of 2001, after serving as Solicitor (General Counsel) of the U.S. Department of the Interior throughout the Clinton Administration. Previously he taught at Arizona State University College of Law (1980-1992), and served in the Interior Department in the Carter Administration, as special counsel to the Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives, and with the Natural Resources Defense Council in California. He started his legal career as a litigator with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
In 2008-2009 Leshy co-chaired the Obama Administration transition team for the Interior Department, after heading the Interior transition team for Clinton-Gore in 1992-93. In 2013 he received the Defenders of Wildlife Legacy Award for lifetime contributions to wildlife conservation.
In 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011 Leshy was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1969, after earning an A.B. at Harvard College. His publications include books on the Mining Law of 1872 (1987) and the Arizona Constitution (2d edition published in 2013), and a co-author of textbooks on water law (5th edition published in 2012) and federal land and resources law (7th edition published in 2014).
Professor Leshy is an aficionado of jazz and classical music, running rivers, hiking, and tennis with his partner Peggy Karp, a psychiatrist.
Courses Taught: Property, Constitutional Law I, Public Lands and Resources Law, Federal Indian Law, Water Law, and Natural Resources Seminar
Expertise: Real Property Law, Constitutional Law (State and Federal), Natural Resources Law, Public Land Law and Water Law
My favorite part about teaching is... helping students engage the law analytically, while enhancing their appreciation of how culture, politics, science and technology impact the law's evolution.
I hope students take away from UC Hastings... intellectual rigor, advocacy skills, disciplined work habits, a greater capacity for empathy, and a more refined sense of fairness