Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Faculty Biographies > Faculty Bio

Mendelson, Nina A.

Joseph L. Sax Collegiate Professor of Law

412 Hutchins Hall

Nina A. Mendelson, the Joseph L. Sax Collegiate Professor of Law, teaches and conducts research in the areas of administrative law, environmental law, statutory interpretation, and the legislative process. Her work has b​een cited by U.S. Supreme Court justices (in dissent). She won the American Bar Association's Award for Scholarship in Administrative Law for the best article published in the preceding year for her 2010 article, "Disclosing Political Oversight of Agency Decision Making." She is a senior fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States. She has served as one of three U.S. special legal advisers to the NAFTA Commission on Environmental Cooperation and is a member scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform. Prior to joining the Michigan Law faculty in 1999, Professor Mendelson served for several years as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division, litigating and advising other federal agencies on legislative and policy matters. She also participated extensively in federal legislative negotiations. Professor Mendelson earned her AB in economics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Harvard University. Her JD is from Yale Law School, where she was an articles editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following law school, she clerked for The Hon. Pierre Leval in the Southern District of New York and for The Hon. John Walker Jr., '66, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She also has worked for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and practiced law with Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe of Seattle.


Recent Publications

More Publications...

"The Permissibility of Acting Officials: May the President Work Around Senate Confirmation?" Admin. L. Rev. 72, no. 4 (2020): 533-606.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | SSRN

"Tribes, Cities, and Children: Emerging Voices in Environmental Litigation." J. Land Use & Envtl. L. 34, no. 2 (2019): 237-65.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw

"Change, Creation, and Unpredictability in Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use in the Roberts Court's First Decade." Mich. L. Rev. 117, no. 1 (2018): 71-142.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"Supervising Outsourcing: The Need for Better Design of Blended Governance." In Administrative Law from the Inside Out: Essays on Themes in the Work of Jerry L. Mashaw, edited by N. R. Parrillo, 427-50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

"American Bar Association Resolution 112: Championing Public Access to the Law." Admin. & Regulatory L. News 42, no. 1 (2016): 11-3.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw


Served as a paper commenter at the Legislation Roundtable at the Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut, February 2020.

Delivered a paper on presidential power to bypass Senate confirmation, University of Pittsburgh Law School, April 2019.

Delivered a paper on environmental litigation, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, California, February 2019.

Delivered a paper on presidential power to bypass Senate confirmation, Washington University Law School, St. Louis, November 2018.

Spoke on mass and fraudulent commenting on agency rulemaking at the American Bar Association Administrative Law Section conference, Washington, D.C., November 2018.

Delivered the Environmental Law Distinguished Lecture on new categories of environmental plaintiffs, Florida State University College of Law, October 2018.

Spoke on mass commenting on agency rulemaking at the Administrative Conference of the United States conference, Washington, D.C., October 2018.

Presented a project on agency vacancies at the Berkeley Law School Political Appointments Roundtable, Berkeley, California, June 2018.

Served as a senior commenter at the New Voices in Administrative Law conference, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, June 2018.

Presented a paper on statutory interpretation at a faculty workshop, University of Colorado Law School, October 2017.

Delivered a paper on interpretive canon use in the Roberts Court, Harvard Law School Public Law Workshop, March 2017.

Delivered a paper on outsourcing at a workshop, Vanderbilt Law School, February 2017.

Commented on agency practice and inequality, Administrative Law Symposium, Duke Law School, February 2017.