Patricia Ross McCubbin
Professor of Law
Office: Lesar Law Building, Room 228
Telephone: (618) 453-8759
Professor McCubbin teaches environmental law and administrative law. She also helps students with preparation for the bar exam and with the academic success program. She has received both the Outstanding Teaching Award (2008–09) and the Outstanding Scholarship Award (2006–07).
Her scholarship focuses on climate change and the Clean Air Act, and she regularly speaks on those topics at law schools and legal conferences. For example, she contributed an article to an SIU symposium on "EPA's Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases and the Potential Duty to Adopt National Ambient Air Quality Standards to Address Global Climate Change." In addition, her article, "Cap and Trade Programs Under the Clean Air Act: Lessons from the Clean Air Interstate Rule and the NOx SIP Call," built on her presentation at a March 2009 conference on "Regulating Climate: What Role for the Clean Air Act?" sponsored by the Duke University School of Law and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. She also spoke at Lewis and Clark Law School’s conference on "The Clean Air Act at 40."
Professor McCubbin served as a Fulbright Scholar in China in spring 2007, teaching American environmental and administrative law to students at the Wuhan University School of Law in Wuhan, China, which is home to the Research Institute for Environmental Law, one of the nation's premier institutions in this field. There she worked with Chinese colleagues on issues related to the country's domestic efforts to address climate change, culminating in "China and Climate Change: Domestic Environmental Needs, Differentiated International Responsibilities, and Rule of Law Weaknesses," an article published as part of a symposium held at the University of Houston in February 2008. More recently, she participated in a panel on energy and climate policy at Vermont Law School’s conference on "China’s Environmental Governance: Global Challenges and Comparative Solutions."
She organized the SIU Law Journal Symposium, held February 27, 2009, on "Contemporary Issues at the Intersection of Public Health and Environmental Law." That conference brought together some of the nation's leading legal scholars, scientists, government regulators, community activists, and private attorneys to discuss land use regulation as a tool to remedy the obesity epidemic, climate change as a public health threat, pharmaceuticals in waterways, and other issues.
From 2009 to 2011, Professor McCubbin served as co-chair of the Constitutional Law Committee within the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy and Resources. She previously served as Vice-Chair for Public Service for that committee. In addition, for nearly a decade she has been involved with the ABA's Annual Conference on Environmental Law, moderating and speaking on several panels and serving as a member of the Planning Committee for one of the conferences.
Prior to joining the School of Law faculty in 2000, Professor McCubbin was an accomplished attorney with the Environmental Defense Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where she received numerous awards for distinguished service, including the Special Achievement Award for Sustained Superior Performance of Duty presented by the U.S. Attorney General. During her career at the Justice Department, she defended regulations adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, enforced the nation’s wetlands protection laws, and argued successfully before the U.S. Courts of Appeals in such cases as Michigan v. EPA, 213 F.3d 663 (D.C. Cir. 2000), and Marine Shale Processors, Inc. v. EPA, 81 F.3d 1371 (5th Cir. 1996). Before joining the Justice Department, she counseled clients on compliance with environmental laws in private practice in Washington, D.C.
Professor McCubbin received her J.D. in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she also served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Law and Politics. She received her B.A. in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia in 1985, graduating with High Honors and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.