Professor Erica Lyman boasts over fifteen years of experience in international environmental law, with a strong focus on wildlife protection issues. She is the Director of the Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment (the Global Law Alliance)—a collaboration launched in the fall of 2020 between the Center for Animal Law Studies and the Environmental Law Program at Lewis & Clark Law School. The Global Law Alliance is a champion for wild animals and wild spaces across the globe, working to protect animals and the environment through the development, implementation, and enforcement of international law. Law students (JD and LLM) actively participate in the work through two clinics within the Alliance.
Professor Lyman has a rich history of practicing and teaching international environmental law, with a focus on international wildlife issues. In 2005, she joined the International Environmental Law Project (IELP) at Lewis & Clark Law School as its first staff attorney. Professor Lyman has gained a reputation for identifying creative strategies that also promote the integrity of treaty regimes. Professor Lyman’s international wildlife law practice focuses on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on Migratory Species, the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, and other international institutions that impact wildlife conservation. In recent years, Professor Lyman has expanded her work to include a focus on implementation of international commitments, supporting the revision and development of national legislation and addressing enforcement challenges. In this capacity, Professor Lyman works directly with governments and other stakeholders to strengthen national frameworks for combating wildlife trafficking. Professor Lyman has worked in Malawi, Angola, Kenya, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Gambia, and Guinea.
Although a significant focus of Professor Lyman’s work is in the field of international wildlife law, she also works on broader issues, such as habitat conservation, climate change, human rights, and trade and the environment. Professor Lyman’s work on climate change included legal support to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in the lead-up to the Paris Agreement.
Professor Lyman teaches two clinic courses. She teaches an International Animal and Environmental Law Clinic for JD students who are interested in developing the practical skills and substantive knowledge required to tackle contemporary wildlife and other international environmental challenges. Professor Lyman also teaches the International Wildlife Law Clinic for Animal Law LLM students who are interested in wildlife issues and desire to enhance their skill set in order to work in wildlife conservation and international animal protection after receiving their degrees.
In addition to her clinic courses, Professor Lyman teaches an innovative course in international wildlife law that brings the complex politics of international law-making to the classroom through in-class exercises that draw on the “hot” topics of international wildlife law, including trophy hunting, Japanese whaling, polar bear conservation in light of climate change, and other contemporary issues. The design of the class promotes creative problem-solving and complex critical thinking and digs into the underlying politics and policy choices reflected in international wildlife law.