william boyd

William Boyd

Professor of Law

UCLA School of Law
385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA, 90095

William Boyd is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Professor at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Boyd was previously Professor of Law and John H. Schultz Energy Law Fellow at University of Colorado Boulder School of Law. His primary research and teaching interests are in energy law and regulation, climate change law and policy, and environmental law. Much of his recent scholarship has been motivated by two related concerns: (1) how particular ways of thinking have structured the manner in which problems are framed in energy and environmental law and, in turn, how they have shaped specific regulatory responses; and (2) how particular forms of energy and environmental governance are emerging in the context of a plural, fragmented and increasingly global set of institutions and actors.

Professor Boyd also has longstanding interests and experience in interdisciplinary field-based research on resource use and environmental change.  He is particularly interested in the political economy of natural resource industries and the contemporary global land question in the context of a deepening climate emergency.

Professor Boyd continues to be actively involved in climate, energy, and environmental policy matters at multiple levels of governance. Since 2009, he has served as the Project Lead for the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF), a unique subnational collaboration of 38 states and provinces from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, and the United States that is working to develop regulatory frameworks to reduce emissions from deforestation and land use. Boyd is also the founding Director of the Laboratory for Energy & Environmental Policy innovation (LEEP), a policy innovation lab based in Boulder, Colorado that works with partners around the world to develop and support real-time policy experiments, establish robust networks for learning and exchange, and contribute to effective and durable policy outcomes.

Professor Boyd received his B.A. from University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar, his M.A. and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he served as Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review. After law school, Boyd clerked for the Honorable Diana Gribbon Motz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. He then served as American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science Fellow and Counsel on the Democratic minority staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, and practiced energy, environmental, and climate change law with the firm of Covington & Burling, LLP in Washington D.C.

Professor Boyd’s recent scholarship has appeared in UCLA Law ReviewEcology Law Quarterly, and the Yale Journal on Regulation among others. His 2015 book The Slain Wood: Papermaking and its Environmental Consequences in the American South was awarded the 2016 Edelstein Prize by the Society for the History of Technology.

A Note to Prospective Graduate Students

I am always interested in working with talented, motivated, and hard-working undergraduate and graduate students.

If you are considering applying to the IoES Ph.D. program and are interested in working with me, please send me an email with

  • CV or resume,
  • 1-2 page statement of interest, which indicates: why you want to pursue a Ph.D. in IoES; why my research group would be a good fit; the sorts of research questions and topics you are interested in working on; and relevant experience,
  • Copies of any publications (e.g. papers, posters, reports) you have authored or co-authored.