Nicholas Schroeck

Nicholas Schroeck

Director of the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic; Assistant Professor (Clinical)

Room 2213

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(313) 577-3943

Nicholas Schroeck


Nick Schroeck, director of the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic, teaches the clinic, advanced clinic, Environmental Law and Energy Law Current Topics Seminar at Wayne State University Law School. In addition to his teaching, Schroeck supervises clinic student attorneys on a variety of environmental law and policy matters. He also serves as co-director of community outreach and engagement at the university's Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors.

Schroeck has represented the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Michigan Environmental Council, National Wildlife Federation and Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, among others. Licensed to practice in Michigan, he has litigated cases before administrative tribunals; in Circuit Court, Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court; and before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. His areas of expertise include air pollution, water pollution, environmental justice, transportation and citizen suit enforcement.

He is a sought-after expert and commentator on environmental matters. Schroeck is a regular in-studio guest on WDET-FM 101.9 in Detroit, and he is frequently quoted by The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. He has provided analysis for The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time and National Public Radio, including a featured appearance on “Science Friday.”

In 2014, Schroeck was a visiting professor at the Northwest University of Politics and Law in Xi'an China, teaching International Environmental Law. He also has taught International Environmental Law for Southwestern Law School's Vancouver Study Abroad program at the University of British Columbia.

Previously, Schroeck was executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, a 501(c)(3) public interest law organization that works in partnership with the clinic. Prior to leading the Center, he was a regional representative and attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, America's largest conservation organization, out of its Great Lakes Natural Resources Center in Ann Arbor. Before joining the federation, he was a Sea Grant Fellow with the Great Lakes Commission. During law school, Schroeck interned with the Michigan Attorney General's office, where he assisted with the prosecution of environmental crimes. He also served as a student attorney and as board secretary of the Free Legal Aid Clinic. Prior to law school, Schroeck worked in electoral politics as a field coordinator on the 2002 Connecticut governor's race and as a paralegal at a law firm in Washington, D.C.

Schroeck is a graduate of Wayne Law. He also holds a bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, in urban studies and political science from Elmhurst College in Illinois. While at Elmhurst, he had the distinction to study for a year in the Politics Honors College at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

An avid reader, Schroeck enjoys travel, gardening and cooking with his wife, Elizabeth, who is a third-grade teacher in Rochester. Proud supporters of Detroit's cultural gems, you are likely to run into them at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Symphony Orchestra or Detroit Lions games. 

Community service

  • Co-chair, Great Lakes and Inland Waters Committee, State Bar of Michigan, Environmental Section
  • Advisory Board, National Sea Grant Law Center
  • Steering Committee, Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments
  • Director, East Michigan Environmental Action Council
  • Legal Advisor, Detroit Sound Conservancy
  • Member, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and Michigan Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

Awards and honors

  • Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter, White Pine Award, August 2014
  • Wayne State University Alumni Association, Recent Alumni Award, May 2012

Degrees and Certifications

J.D., Wayne State University Law School
B.A., Elmhurst College

Courses Taught

Transnational Environmental Law Clinic
Advanced Transnational Environmental Law Clinic
Energy Law: Current Topics Seminar
Environmental Law

Selected Publications

"Microplastic Pollution in the Great Lakes: State, Federal, and Common Law Solutions" (forthcoming)

A Changing Environment in China: The Ripe Opportunity for Environmental Law Clinics to Increase Public Participation and to Shape Law and Policy, Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, Winter 2016

What is a Pond? Michigan Court of Appeals interprets 'Waters of the State' Under Michigan Law, (With Justin Sterk), Michigan Environmental Law Journal, Summer 2015

Petroleum Coke in the Urban Environment, A Review of Potential Health Effects, (co-author), International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Spring 2015

"Hydraulic Fracturing and Protection of Freshwater Resources in the Great Lakes State," (With Ryan Schutte and Elizabeth Arnkoff), Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, Volume 24, Issue 113, Spring 2014

Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Management in the Great Lakes, (With Stephanie Karisny), Case Western Reserve Law Review, Volume 63, Issue 4, Summer 2013

Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan

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