Jan G. Laitos

Professor; Joe Juhan Endowed Professorship

  • Faculty


Constitutional Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law

Professional Biography

Jan Laitos holds the John A. Carver Jr. Chair at the Sturm College of Law. He is a regional board member of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute; and since 1981 a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. He was Vice Chair of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. He was also the Director of the nationally ranked Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program at the University of Denver Law School from 1981 until 2004. In 1996, he was given the University of Denver's distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2005, he was selected a "DU Law Star." Prior to joining the faculty at the Law school, he was the law clerk to the Chief Justice for the Colorado Supreme Court, and an attorney with the Office of Legal Counsel within the United States Department of Justice.

He is the author of several books and treatises, published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, West Academic, Foundation Press, Aspen (Wolters Kluwer), Duke University Press, and Edward Elgar Publishing.

He has worked as a consultant on several cases decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Federal appeals, the Montana Supreme Court, the Nevada Supreme Court, the Idaho Supreme court, and the Colorado Supreme Court, and on several cert. petitions before the United States Supreme Court.

He has lectured at Austral University Law School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the European Network For Housing Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, the National University of Ireland at Galway, Ireland, the University of Oslo, Norway, the University of Tarragona, Spain, the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the University of Western Sydney, Australia.


1. Constitutional Protection of Private Property
2. Rethinking Environmental Law - Making Environmental Laws Consistent with the Laws of Nature
3. The History of Environmental Laws

Featured Publications

Law of Property Rights Protection: Limitations on Government Powers, 3rd ed. Wolters Kluwer (2021).
Natural Resources Law 3d ed. West Academic (2018).
Regulation of Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes 3d ed. Foundation Press (2018).
The Paralysis Paradox and the Untapped Role of Science in Solving Big Environmental Problems, co-authored with Chris Ainscough, 30 Georgetown Environmental Law Review (2018).
Why Environmental Policies Fail Cambridge University Press (2017).