Alexandra B. Klass is the James G. Degnan Professor of Law at Michigan Law. She teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, environmental law, natural resources law, tort law, and property law. Currently, she is on leave from the Michigan Law faculty while serving in the Biden-Harris administration as deputy general counsel for energy efficiency and clean energy demonstrations at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Professor Klass’s recent scholarly work, published in many of the nation’s leading law journals, addresses regulatory challenges to integrating more renewable energy into the nation’s electric transmission grid, siting and eminent domain issues surrounding interstate electric transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines, and applications of the public trust doctrine to modern environmental law challenges. She is a co-author of Energy Law: Concepts and Insights Series, second edition (Foundation Press, 2020), Energy Law and Policy, third edition (West Academic Publishing, 2022), and Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases, fifth edition (Wolters Kluwer, 2022).
Before her appointment at the University of Michigan, Professor Klass was a Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. During her time on the Minnesota Law faculty, she was named the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year in 2010 and 2020, and she served as associate dean for academic affairs from 2010 to 2012. She was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2015 and at Uppsala University in Sweden in 2019.
Prior to her teaching career, Professor Klass was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis, where she specialized in environmental law and land use litigation. She clerked for the Hon. Barbara B. Crabb, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, from 1992 to 1993.
Professor Klass has served in leadership positions in state and national bar organizations and nonprofits. She was a longtime member of the board of directors of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and chaired the group's legal committee. In 2020, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz appointed Professor Klass to the Governor's Advisory Council on Climate Change, where she served until 2022. In 2017, she received the Eldon G. Kaul Distinguished Service Award, presented by the Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association to "a member of the bench or bar who has demonstrated a significant commitment and made an outstanding contribution to environmental, natural resources, or energy law in the state of Minnesota."