MASTER OF LAWS, WATER & ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Faculty & Program Team

The McGeorge Online Graduate Programs are taught and led by our distinguished faculty and program team, many of whom are considered experts in their field. Our work appears in top law reviews, journals and books, and in blogs, op-eds, magazines and white papers. Many of our faculty members have also authored leading casebooks that are used in hundreds of law schools across the nation and internationally.

A long exposure of a water release through 6 of the spillway gates from Nimbus Dam Sacramento, CA

  • Professor Adrienne Brungess: Professor of Law, Negotiation & Settlements
    Because of her extensive background in ADR and negotiation, Professor Brungess' students gain comprehensive skills in processes and techniques in a simulation- focused curriculum. Professor Brungess credits her time in practice for giving her significant experience in client interviewing and counseling, dispute resolution, discovery, litigation, complex project management, and development of professional identity. This professional experience also contributes to the skills and techniques she is able to impart to her students, and to the success of the students she coaches in the law school's top ranking moot court program where she has coached top performing McGeorge advocacy teams for three years.
  • Professor Jay Leach: Professor of Law, Persuasive Public Speaking
    Professor Jay Leach teaches in the law school’s award-winning trial advocacy program. Professor Leach has significant experience in courts and in various alternative dispute resolution settings. His scholarly interests are focused on evidence, advocacy in comparative perspective, and the teaching of advocacy. He is a frequent lecturer for programs sponsored by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and has also lectured in several Chinese law schools.
  • Professor Jennifer Harder: Professor of Law, Water Resources Law, and Environmental Law
    Professor Harder joined the McGeorge faculty in 2015 after a decade of practice as an attorney and partner with Downey Brand LLP in Sacramento, and seven years of teaching water law and practice as an adjunct professor. At Downey Brand, Jennifer represented local governments and private entities on water, environmental, and public agency issues. She represented clients at the State Water Resources Control Board and acted as lead counsel in transactions and litigation related to the California Environmental Quality Act, the federal Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, water financing, public trust, and constitutional water issues, among others. Prior to private practice, Jennifer served as a law clerk for the Alaska Supreme Court and for the Office of the Chief Counsel, California Department of Water Resources. These experiences inform the design of Professor Harder's courses in water resources and environmental practice, which focus on policy implications of legal rules and skills needed for real world practice. Professor Harder also brings these experiences to her work in developing online graduate programming as McGeorge's Faculty Director for Online Learning. In 2018 Professor Harder was honored to receive the Hether C. McFarlane Teaching Innovation Award.
  • Professor Steve McCaffrey: Distinguished Professor of Law, International Water Resources Law, International Environmental Law
    Distinguished Professor of Law Stephen McCaffrey is one of the world's foremost authorities on international water law. He received the 2018 Distinguished Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy for both for his lifetime of service in the development of international environmental law, and in particular for his work as special rapporteur for the International Law Commission on the preparatory work for what became the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. Professor McCaffrey also was named the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law.
  • Professor Chris Micheli: Principal, Aprea & Micheli, Inc., Lobbying and Politics
    Prior to forming Aprea & Micheli, Chris owned his own lobbying and consulting firm, Snodgrass & Micheli, LLC. He has substantial legislative and regulatory experience in the areas of state and local taxation, transportation, civil liability, privacy, insurance, labor and employment, health care, and procurement. He has represented a number of major clients including the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Mercury Insurance, Mattel, Lockheed Martin, Chevron/Texaco, the California Ambulance Association, and the California Grocers Association. As a legislative advocate, Chris regularly testifies before policy and fiscal committees of the California Legislature, as well as a number of administrative agencies, departments, and boards. He regularly drafts legislative and regulatory language, and is considered a leading authority on state tax law developments and California's knife laws. The Wall Street Journal (July 1998) called him "one of the top three business tax lobbyists in the state." The Los Angeles Times (May 2005) described him as an "elite lobbyist," and Capitol Weekly (August 2006) described him as a "prominent lobbyist."
  • Professor Rachael Salcido: Professor of Law, Natural Resources Law
    Professor Rachael Salcido is an insightful scholar of domestic, comparative and international environmental and natural resources law, with particular expertise in ocean and coastal law, and ecosystem restoration. Professor Salcido's articles have appeared in prominent law journals including Tulane Law Review and Ecology Law Quarter, and she regularly gives presentations across the country on current environmental issues with a focus on the continued struggle to identify the harmonious role people play in their environment. Professor Salcido identifies this role as "unique" and "powerful, but not always benign." Professor Salcido is both the founder and director of the law school's Water and Environmental Law Concentration, where she helps students garner interest in environmental law and connects students with careers in the field. Professor Salcido believes there are myriad opportunities today for students interested in engaging in environmental law — including work on climate change, water and environmental justice.


  • Clemence Kucera, Director, Graduate & International Programs & Adjunct Law Faculty
  • Katjana Wurschum: Graduate Admission Counselor
  • Mary Econome, Coordinator, Graduate & International Programs


“As we continue to recruit and develop future leaders, McGeorge graduates are one of the first groups we reach out to."

— Chris Micheli, Principal at Aprea & Micheli, Inc.