Faculty Directory
Faculty Directory

Alexandra Klass

  • Distinguished McKnight University Professor

University of Michigan, B.A.
University of Wisconsin, J.D.

Office: 448
Mondale Hall, 229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Professor Alexandra B. Klass teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, environmental law, natural resources law, tort law, and property law. Her 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, oil and gas transportation infrastructure, and eminent domain issues surrounding interstate electric transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines. She is a co-author of The Practice and Policy of Environmental Law (Foundation Press, 3d ed. 2014) and a co-author of Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing 2015). Professor Klass was named the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year for 2009-2010, and she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2010-2012. She will be a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in the fall semester of 2015. She is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor and in prior years was the Julius E. Davis Professor of Law and the Solly Robins Distinguished Research Fellow.

Prior to her teaching career, Professor Klass was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis, where she specialized in environmental law, natural resources, and land use cases. During her years in private practice from 1993-2004, she handled cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts involving contaminated property, wetlands, environmental review, mining, environmental rights, zoning, eminent domain, and environmental torts. She continues to represent clients pro bono in cases involving environmental, natural resources, and energy law matters. She clerked for the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin from 1992-1993.

Professor Klass has served in leadership positions in state and national bar organizations. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. She was a member of the Governing Council of the Environmental and Natural Resources Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association from 2005-2013, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association from 2001-2011, and served as co-chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Hennepin County Bar Association from 2000-2006. She is a Member Scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform, and a Resident Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

For further information on Professor Klass, please see her curriculum vitae.


Law in Practice

Environmental Law Capstone Course: Brownfields Redevelopment and Litigation

Natural Resources Law



  • Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing, 2015) Lincoln L. Davies, Alexandra Klass, Hari Osofsky, Joseph P. Tomain, Elizabeth Wilson
  • The Practice and Policy of Environmental Law (Foundation Press, 3d ed., 2014) J.B. Ruhl, John Copeland Nagle, James Salzman, Alexandra Klass

Book Chapters

  • State and Municipal Energy Efficiency Laws, in The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables (Michael B. Gerrard, ed., American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2011) Alexandra Klass, John K. Harting
  • The Growing Influence of Tort and Property Law on Natural Resources Law: Case Studies of Coalbed Methane Development and Geologic Carbon Sequestration, in The Evolution of Natural Resources Law and Policy (Lawrence J. MacDonnell & Sarah F. Bates, eds., Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, American Bar Association, 2009) Alexandra Klass

Journal Articles

  • Revitalizing Dormant Commerce Clause Review for Interstate Coordination, Minnesota Law Review (forthcoming 2015) Alexandra Klass, Jim Rossi
  • When Do State Transmission Siting Laws Violate the Constitution?, 28 Electricity Journal (forthcoming 2015) Alexandra Klass, Jim Rossi
  • Transporting Oil and Gas: U.S. Infrastructure Challenges, 100 Iowa Law Review 947 (2015) Alexandra Klass, Danielle Meinhardt
  • A Response to the IPCC Fifth Assessment, 45 Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 10027 (Jan. 2015) Sarah J. Adams-Schoen, Deepa Badrinarayana, Cinnamon Carlarne, Robin Kundis Craig, John C. Dernbach, Keith H. Hirokawa, Alexandra Klass, Katrina Fischer Kuh, Stephen R. Miller, Jessica Owley, Shannon Roesler, Jonathan Rosenbloom, Inara Scott, David Takacs
  • Fracking and the Public Trust Doctrine: A Response to Spence, 93 Texas Law Review See Also 47 (2015) (invited response essay) Alexandra Klass
  • Energy Consumption Data: The Key to Improved Energy Efficiency, 6 San Diego Journal of Climate and Energy Law 69 (2014-15) Alexandra Klass, Elizabeth Wilson
  • The Electric Grid at a Crossroads: A Regional Approach to Siting Transmission Lines, 48 UC Davis Law Review 1895 (2015) Alexandra Klass
  • The Public Trust Doctrine in the Shadow of State Environmental Rights Laws: A Case Study, 45 Environmental Law 431 (2015) Alexandra Klass
  • Response Essay: The Personhood Rationale and its Impact on the Durability of Private Claims to Public Property, 103 Georgetown Law Journal Online 41 (2014) (invited response essay) Alexandra Klass
  • Energy Policy, Extraterritoriality, and the Dormant Commerce Clause, 5 San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law 127 (2013-2014) Alexandra Klass, Elizabeth Henley
  • Takings and Transmission, 91 North Carolina Law Review 1079 (2013) Alexandra Klass
  • Climate Change and the Convergence of Environmental and Energy Law, 24 Fordham Environmental Law Review 180 (2013) (symposium essay) Alexandra Klass
  • Tax Benefits, Property Rights, and Mandates: Considering the Future of Government Support for Renewable Energy, 20 Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law 19 (2013) (symposium essay) Alexandra Klass
  • Renewable Energy and the Public Trust Doctrine, 45 UC Davis Law Review 1021 (2012) Alexandra Klass
  • Interstate Transmission Challenges for Renewable Energy: A Federalism Mismatch, 65 Vanderbilt Law Review 1801 (2012) (excerpted and updated at 44 Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 10705 (Aug. 2014)) Alexandra Klass, Elizabeth Wilson
  • CERCLA, State Law, and Federalism in the 21st Century, 41 Southwestern Law Review 679 (2012) (symposium essay) Alexandra Klass
  • Energy and Animals: A History of Conflict, 3 San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law 159 (2012) (symposium essay) Alexandra Klass
  • Property Rights on the New Frontier: Climate Change, Natural Resource Development, and Renewable Energy, 38 Ecology Law Quarterly 63 (2011) Alexandra Klass
  • Climate Change, Carbon Sequestration, and Property Rights, 2010 University of Illinois Law Review 363 (2010) Alexandra Klass, Elizabeth Wilson
  • State Standards for Nationwide Products Revisited: Federalism, Green Building Codes, and Appliance Efficiency Standards, 34 Harvard Environmental Law Review 335 (2010) Alexandra Klass
  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Identifying and Managing Risks, 8:3 (Balancing the Risks: Managing Technology and Dangerous Climate Change) Issues in Legal Scholarship Article 1 (2009) (symposium essay) Alexandra Klass, Elizabeth Wilson
  • Climate Change and Reassessing the “Right” Level of Government: A Response to Bronin, 93 Minnesota Law Review Headnotes 15 (2009) (invited response essay) Alexandra Klass
  • Punitive Damages after Exxon Shipping Company v. Baker: The Quest for Predictability and the Role of Juries, 7 University of St. Thomas Law Journal 182 (2009) (symposium essay) Alexandra Klass
  • Tort Experiments in the Laboratories of Democracy, 50 William & Mary Law Review 1501 (2009) Alexandra Klass
  • Carbon Sequestration and Sustainability, 44 Tulsa Law Review 237 (2008) (invited symposium) Alexandra Klass, Sara E. Bergan
  • Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration: Assessing a Liability Regime for the Long-term Storage of Carbon Dioxide, 58 Emory Law Journal 103 (2008) Alexandra Klass, Elizabeth Wilson
  • State Innovation and Preemption: Lessons from State Climate Change Efforts, 41 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 1653 (2008) (symposium essay) Alexandra Klass
  • The Frontier of Eminent Domain, 79 University of Colorado Law Review 651 (2008) Alexandra Klass
  • Common Law and Federalism in the Age of the Regulatory State, 92 Iowa Law Review 545 (2007) Alexandra Klass
  • Punitive Damages and Valuing Harm, 92 Minnesota Law Review 83 (2007) Alexandra Klass
  • Adverse Possession and Conservation: Expanding Traditional Notions of Use and Possession, 77 University of Colorado Law Review 283 (2006) (lead article) Alexandra Klass
  • Modern Public Trust Principles: Recognizing Rights and Integrating Standards, 82 Notre Dame Law Review 699 (2006) Alexandra Klass
  • Bees, Trees, Preemption, and Nuisance: A New Path to Resolving Pesticide Land Use Disputes, 32 Ecology Law Quarterly 763 (2005) Alexandra Klass
  • Pesticides, Children’s Health Policy, and Common Law Tort Claims, 7 Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology 89 (2005) Alexandra Klass
  • From Reservoirs to Remediation: The Impact of CERCLA on Common Law Strict Liability Environmental Claims, 39 Wake Forest Law Review 903 (2004) Alexandra Klass
  • The Expansion of Punitive Damages in Minnesota: Environmental Litigation after Jensen v. Walsh, 30 William Mitchell Law Review 177 (2003) Alexandra Klass

Other Publications

  • Restoring the Trust: Water Resources and the Public Trust Doctrine, A Manual for Advocates (Center for Progressive Reform, White Paper #908, Sept. 2009) Alexandra Klass, Ling Yee Huang

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-1000

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