Uma Outka

Associate Professor of Law
Primary office:
402 Green Hall

Professor Outka joined the KU Law faculty as an associate professor in 2011 and is an affiliate faculty member in the KU Environmental Studies Program and Center for Environmental Policy. She teaches environmental law, energy law and related courses, and property. Professor Outka is also a Member Scholar with the Center for Progressive Reform. 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. Before entering academia, Outka 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 an attorney in general litigation with the 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 master's in public policy and management 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 used at U.S. law schools
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 33 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,300+ alumni live in all 50 states and 18 foreign countries
  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 27th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 70 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • Nearly 800 employment interviews at law school, 2012-13
  • Top 25% for number of 2013 grads hired by the nation’s largest law firms
  • 20th: for number of law alumni promoted to partner at the 250 largest law firms