Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is ACOEL?

The American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) is a professional association of distinguished lawyers practicing in the field of environmental law and drawn from private practice, academia, government and not-for-profit organizations. 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 standards of practice, administration of justice, and ethics of the profession, and to contributing to the development of environmental law at both the state and federal level, as well as helping others in the field through sharing knowledge by writing, speaking, and teaching.
2. What are the membership criteria?
Membership eligibility is limited to those who have practiced environmental law for at least 15 years and whose practice for 5 years prior to nomination for membership has been at least 50% in environmental law.

We define environmental practice as practice under the following statutes, or their state and international counterparts, as well as related tort actions and business transactions:

(1) Clean Air Act,

(2) Clean Water Act,

(3) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act,

(4) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,

(5) Toxic Substances Control Act,

(6) National Environmental Policy Act of 1969,

(7) Endangered Species Act,

(8) Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act,

(9) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act,

(10) Oil Pollution Act, and

(11) Safe Drinking Water Act.