The American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) is a professional association of distinguished lawyers who practice in the field of environmental law.  Membership is by invitation and members are recognized by their peers as preeminent in their field.  ACOEL members are dedicated to: maintaining and improving the ethical practice of environmental law; the administration of justice; and the development of environmental law at both the state and federal level.

Information on current officers is below. For more information please read the current bylaws of the ACOEL, and see the links at the bottom of the page to history of officers, Regents and our annual meetings. 

President: Allan Gates

Allan Gates is a member of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard. He has served as defense counsel in hazardous waste and Superfund actions before state agencies, EPA, and in state and federal court, as well as counsel in air pollution, water pollution, toxic tort, wetlands, environmental impact statement and coastal management disputes and litigation. He can be reached at agates@mwlaw.com.



President-Elect 2019: Andrea Field

Andrea Field is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.  For over four decades, Andy has represented clients in precedential environmental rulemakings and litigation. She is best known for her representation of clients in proceedings arising under the Clean Air Act, in federal and state enforcement actions, and in a full range of environmental permitting matters.  Andy was the first woman elected to chair the American Bar Association’s Environment, Energy and Resources Section (1989-1990), and she currently serves on the Board of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  She has also been known, upon request, to compose waggish limericks and sly sonnets.  Andy can be reached at afield@huntonak.com.



Treasurer: Michael D. Hockley

Michael Hockley is a partner in the Environmental and Energy Law practice of Spencer Fane LLP. Mike’s practice concentrates on litigation, environmental law, and renewable energy, with an emphasis on environmental litigation, regulatory permitting, and environmental enforcement proceedings. In addition to representing individual clients in hazardous waste, Clean Air Act, and multi-media enforcement and permitting proceedings, he has chaired Superfund site steering committees, served as group counsel to steering committees and industry groups in environmental litigation, and served as a mediator in complex multi-party litigation. Mike can be reached at mhockley@spencerfane.com


Secretary: Renee Cipriano

Ms. Cipriano is a Partner in Schiff Hardin's Environmental Group in Chicago.  Her practice includes environmental strategic planning and counseling clients with respect to local and national initiatives, with an emphasis on government relations and public law and policy. She also has overseen complex infrastructure, facility projects and permitting, third party challenges and energy projects. She has lectured on environmental matters for a variety of national and local professional associations.  Ms. Cipriano was appointed Illinois EPA Director, a Cabinet position in Illinois, under two Administrations.  She also served as an Illinois Assistant Attorney General, Associate Director and Chief Legal Counsel, Illinois EPA and Governor's Senior Policy Advisor for Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture, Nuclear Safety and Energy.  She currently serves as a member of the Environmental Law Institute Leadership Council.  She can be reached at RCipriano@schiffhardin.com


Immediate Past President: John Cruden 

John Cruden is a principal in the law firm of Beveridge and Diamond, the current President of the ACOEL Foundation, and the immediate past Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice. He has also served as the President of the Environmental Law Institute, the President of the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources.  Mr. Cruden can be reached at jcruden@bdlaw.com.


History of ACOEL Officers

History of ACOEL Regents

History of ACOEL Annual Meetings

About Chairs

ELI Support for ACOEL