Faculty Profiles

Stephanie M. Nichols

B.B.A., University of Notre Dame, cum laude
J.D. Seattle University School of Law, cum laude

Stephanie M. Nichols

As Executive Director of Seattle University's Alaska Programs, Stephanie brings a lifetime of experiences from Alaska to the Law School.  Alaska is the only state in the country without a law school, and it presents an array of keen issues of interest to this law school's mission.   The Law School's current and well-established summer program in Alaska has been in existence for well over a decade, and Stephanie continues to build and expand our relations in Alaska from its legal communities to our alumni and law students from across the country. 

In addition to directing the Law School's presence in Alaska, Stephanie also teaches courses in Alaska Native Law, on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and on Alaska's Legal History. She has also taught the Indian Trust and Estates clinic in Seattle University's Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic.

Stephanie received a degree in Accountancy cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and her J.D. cum laude from Seattle University.   Prior to her work at the Law School, Stephanie was in-house counsel for an Indian tribe near Olympia, Washington.  She has also been a speaker at several national conferences.  During law school Stephanie was a First Place winner of the Fredric C. Tausend Appellate Oral Argument Competition.  She was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, and has traveled extensively throughout Alaska, the country, and the world.

Sam Kalen

B.A., Clark University (1980), cum laude and High Honors in History
J.D., Washington University School of Law (1984)

In 2009, Professor Sam Kalen was appointed to the University of Wyoming College of Law faculty as an assistant professor of law. Prof. Kalen comes to UW from the Washington, D.C., law firm of Van Ness Feldman and various teaching positions at the University of Baltimore, Florida State University, Washington & Lee University, and Penn State University. Van Ness Feldman is one of the nation's leading energy, environmental and natural resources law firms. Before joining Van Ness Feldman, Prof. Kalen began his career as a law clerk for Justice Warren D. Welliver of the Missouri Supreme Court.

With his experience in our nation's capital, Prof. Kalen hopes to bring not just a D.C. lawyer's perspective, but the experiences of someone who has practiced law in a variety of areas for many years. In addition to working in private practice, he also has served in the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Interior.

Climate Change, EENR Practicum, Energy & Climate Policy, Environmental Law, Indian Law, and Legislation

Cliff Villa

Cliff Villa

Since 1996, Cliff Villa has served as an Assistant Regional Counsel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 office, which has jurisdiction over Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Cliff began his EPA career in Washington, D.C., as an Honors attorney with EPA Headquarters, and later served in EPA Region 8 in Denver. Within Alaska, Cliff's practice has included regulation of mining, railroads, wetlands, oil pipelines, oil platforms, and military bases. Since 2006, he has served as legal counsel to EPA's emergency response program, assisting with contingency planning as well as immediate response to oil spills, toxics releases, and other environmental emergencies. He is also a legal officer within the Incident Command System, assisting interagency efforts with disaster readiness and response.

Cliff is a regular instructor for EPA training courses presented each year across the country. He has also spoken widely at professional conferences throughout the United States as well as in Spain and Latin America. He has authored a number of articles in the fields of environmental law and disaster law, appearing in such publications as the Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, the Seattle University Law Review, and the ABA's Law Practice Today.

Since 2006, Cliff has taught as an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law, where among other things he has developed new courses on Environmental Enforcement and Disaster Law. Cliff has also taught the basic Environmental Law Fundamentals course and the Environmental Drafting workgroup. Cliff currently serves as the faculty advisor for the Latina/o Law Students Association and as the law school representative on the Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability.

As a federal attorney, Cliff has received multiple awards for Commendable Service from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2008, recognizing his contributions to public service as both an attorney and educator, he received the Modelo de Excelencia award from the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington. In 2009, Cliff was honored with the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award from Seattle University School of Law. In 2011, he received the Civil Rights award from EPA Region 10.

Eric Laschever 

Professor Laschever is a partner at K&L Gates where he practices land use, environmental, and natural resource law.  From 1980-1989 Eric worked for the State of Alaska.  He served as Associate Director for Fisheries and the Environment in Governor Sheffield and Governor Cowper's Washington D.C. office and also worked for the State legislature, Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of Fish and Game.  During his time in D.C. he worked on securing passage of the Oil Pollution Act.  He has taught courses in natural resource damages, coastal law, and climate change law.


Victor B. Flatt

Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude
Northwestern University School of Law, Order of the Coif, Cum Laude

Victor B. FlattVictor B. Flatt is the Tom & Elizabeth Taft Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law and the Director of the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources (CLEAR) at the University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill. Prior to this, he held the A.L. O'Quinn Chair in Environmental Law at the University of Houston Law Center, where he was also the Director of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Law Center. He has been a visiting professor at the Seattle University School of Law.

He is a nationally recognized expert in environmental and energy legal and policy matters, and has done extensive work on climate change, particularly with respect to the Arctic. He has published extensively in law journals, including Northwestern Law Review, Seattle University Law Review, Washington Law Review, Ecology Law Quarterly, and Notre Dame Law Review. He is also published numerous op-eds and blogs and is frequently quoted in national media. He earned his B.A., magna cum laude, in Chemistry and Mathematics at Vanderbilt University in 1985, where he was a Harold Stirling Vandrerbilt Scholar, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and the analytical laboratory coordinator for the Student Environmental Health Project. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1988, where he was a John Henry Wigmore Scholar and Order of the Coif. After law school, Professor Flatt clerked for the Honorable Danny J. Boggs of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked in private practice in complex environmental law in Seattle, Washington. In 2005-6, Professor Flatt represented then Senators Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Barbara Boxer, among others, in their challenge to new EPA Clean Air Act rules.