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Remembering Jamie A. Grodsky

Jessica McConnell

The GW Law community celebrates the life of professor Jamie A. Grodsky, who passed away in May. Professor Grodsky was a passionate teacher, mentor, and scholar at the height of her career.

Professor Grodsky joined the Law School faculty in 2006 after serving as an associate professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School. She taught and wrote in the areas of environmental, natural resources, and science and technology law. Prior to entering academia, professor Grodsky held legal positions in the federal government in Washington, D.C. She served as a counsel to the Committee on Natural Resources of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995, counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 1997, and was the senior adviser to the general counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1999 to 2001.

“With the passing of professor Jamie Grodsky, the environmental law academic community has lost one of its shining stars. Her award-winning scholarship on genomics and the law was truly groundbreaking,” Associate Dean for Environmental Studies Lee Paddock says. “She was also a highly respected teacher who always brought enthusiasm and joy to the classroom.”

In addition to being a passionate teacher and scholar, professor Grodsky loved the outdoors, music, and connecting with everyone she met. Her generous and unique spirit made her a cherished member of the GW Law family.

“A bright light has gone out in our community. We have lost a precious teacher, mentor, and friend, and she will be dearly and deeply missed. We are thankful for all that we gained through Jamie’s life, teaching, dedication, and her unforgettable presence in our community,” Dean Frederick M. Lawrence says. “The outpouring of memories, sympathy, and gratitude from her students and colleagues has been uplifting to the GW Law community during this difficult time. All of these contributions are testaments to the positive and lasting impact Jamie had on each person she encountered.”

Among these messages, former students remember “her warmth, her humanity, and her passion” as well as professor Grodsky’s “genuine zeal for life.” A memorial service will be held during fall semester in professor Grodsky’s honor. To share memories, e-mail


Professor Grodsky was a standout in the environmental law community. Here she is pictured with former Vice President Al Gore during the National Association of Environmental Law Societies conference at GW Law in 2007, an event she was instrumental in organizing.

Claire Duggan

Law School faculty and staff members placed flowers underneath a wreath hung at Professor’s Gate on May 27 in memory of professor Grodsky.

Claire Duggan