Uma Outka

Associate Professor of Law
Primary office:
402 Green Hall

Professor Uma Outka works at the intersection between energy law and environmental law, with a focus on renewable energy and the transition to a low-carbon electricity sector. She has been an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law since 2011, and is an Affiliate Faculty member of the Environmental Studies Program and the Center for Environmental Policy. Her scholarship has appeared in law journals including Vanderbilt Law Review, Ecology Law Quarterly, Colorado Law Review and the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, and her chapter on Legal Regimes for Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry is featured in the comparative law reference volume Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation Law (Edward Elgar Publ. 2015). Outka teaches courses in energy law, property, environmental law and climate change law and policy. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Moreau Faculty Award, an honor bestowed on a faculty member by the entire student body. In 2015, she received the campus-wide Sustainability Leadership Faculty Award.

Before coming to KU Law, Outka spent two years as a Visiting Scholar in Energy and Land Use Law at the Florida State University College of Law. As a faculty research partner with FSU’s Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability (IESES), Outka directed a Sustainable Energy Research Project aimed at understanding and advancing legal frameworks to support sustainable energy development. She taught Sustainable Development Law and organized a national symposium on energy and land use issues at FSU.

Outka previously served as General Counsel for 1000 Friends of Florida, a non-profit advocacy organization focused on growth management, environmental conservation and affordable housing, and worked as a litigation attorney in private practice with a large northeast law firm, Verrill Dana, LLP in Portland, Maine. She is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, and holds a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from the Muskie School of Public Service.

Courses Taught:
  • Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Property


Representative Publications
"Environmental Law and Fossil Fuels: Barriers to Renewable Energy,” 65 Vanderbilt Law Review 1679 (2012); "Environmental Justice in the Renewable Energy Transition," 19 Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Law 60 (2012); “The Energy-Land Use Nexus,” 27 Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law (2012); “Local Promise for Climate Mitigation: An Empirical Assessment” (with Richard Feiock), 36 William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review 635-70 (2012); "The Renewable Energy Footprint," 30 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 241-309 (2011); "Siting Renewable Energy: Land Use and Regulatory Context," 37 Ecology Law Quarterly 1041-1105 (2010); "NEPA and Environmental Justice: Integration, Implementation, and Judicial Review," Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 601-25 (2006).

Research Interests
Environmental law, energy law, climate law and policy, administrative law, sustainable development, environmental justice, land use and natural resources law.

J.D., summa cum laude, University of Maine School of Law, 2005; M.A., Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, 2005; B.A., University of Virginia, 1995.

Maine, 2005; Florida, 2008.

Career History
Associate, Verrill Dana LLP, 2004 (summer), general litigation, 2005-07; General Counsel, 1000 Friends of Florida, 2007-09; Visiting Scholar in Energy and Land Use Law, Florida State University College of Law, 2009-11; Associate Professor, University of Kansas School of Law, 2011-present.

Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks and treatises
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 34 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,600+ alumni in all 50 states, D.C., and 21 foreign countries
  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 20th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 80 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • More than 600 employment interviews at law school, 2014-15
  • 92 percent overall employment rate for Class of 2014 – top 20 percent nationally
  • 23rd: for number of law alumni promoted to partner at nation’s largest law firms
  • #1 in Kansas and Missouri for July 2015 bar exam performance