Distinguished Professor and Chief Sustainability Officer for the University
James R. May is Distinguished Professor of Law, and Chief Sustainability Officer, Widener University (USA). He also serves as co-Director of the Environmental Rights Institute and co-Director of the Dignity Rights Project at Widener University Delaware Law School. May is also an Adjunct Professor of Graduate Engineering, and founded and co-chairs a program on marine policy. May is the editor of Principles of Constitutional Environmental Law (American Bar Association), and co-editor of Shale Gas and the Future of Energy (Edward Elgar), Global Environmental Constitutionalism (Cambridge), Environmental Constitutionalism in Context (Edward Elgar), New Frontiers in Environmental Constitutionalism (United National Environment Programme, forthcoming), Implementing Environmental Constitutionalism (Cambridge, forthcoming), Standards of Environmental Constitutionalism (Cambridge, forthcoming), and Human Rights and the Environment: Indivisibility, Dignity and Legality (Edward Elgar, forthcoming). May is also author or co-author of more than 100 articles and book chapters, and numerous amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. federal courts of appeal on issues including environmental law, constitutional law, comparative constitutional, international environmental law, environmental rights, and human dignity.
May founded two non-profit environmental organizations (the Mid-Atlantic and the Eastern Environmental Law Centers), and has litigated more than 200 public interest environmental claims, including cases throughout the Mid-Atlantic to restore water and air quality, conserve rare species and habitats, and protect biodiversity.
May is a Member of Faculty to the National Judicial College, and a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, for whom he has served as a delegate to Haiti and China. May has also served as a consultant to the U.S. Embassy on legal education in the Philippines, and to the Hungarian Embassy and the Moroccan Human Rights Council on constitutional reform. May is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, serves on numerous boards, and has won numerous awards, including from Pace University, Sierra Club, and the American Canoe Association. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas (Bowman Scholar), J.D. from the University of Kansas (Appellate Advocacy Scholar and national moot court champion), and LL.M. in Environmental Law from Pace University, where he was the Feldshuh Fellow and graduated first in class.
May is a member of the bar in the State of Pennsylvania, several federal courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court.