Uma Outka of the University of Kansas School of Law works at the intersection of energy law and environmental law. Her scholarship explores the legal context for energy transition, with particular interests in energy and environmental justice, renewable energy, electricity regulation, and decarbonization of the electric grid.
Outka joined the KU Law faculty in 2011 and served as Associate Dean for Faculty from 2019-22. She is an Affiliate Faculty member of KU's Environmental Studies Program, Center for Environmental Policy, and Institute for Social and Policy Research. Her scholarship has appeared in book chapters and law journals, including Vanderbilt Law Review, Ecology Law Quarterly, Wake Forest University Law Review, and the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. This work has earned her a number of distinctions - she was selected as the University of Utah's Stegner Center Young Scholar (2018), delivered the Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law at the Vermont Law School (2017), and her article, State Lands in Modern Public Land Law, was recognized as one of the five best works of environmental scholarship in 2017. In recognition of her scholarly record, she was named the William R. Scott Law Professor in 2019.
Outka teaches courses in environmental law, property, energy law, environmental justice, and climate change law and policy at KU Law, and she has also had the opportunity to teach in other settings. She has served as Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Hawaii's Summer Environmental Law Program (2019) and as a Visiting Professor at the Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur, India (2018). She was recognized as a teacher by the KU Law student body with the Moreau Faculty Award (2013) and by the law school with the Immel Award for Teaching Excellence (2019).
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. 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.