• Access to Justice Scholar

Alyse Bertenthal

  • Access to Justice Scholar
ABF Researcher

Alyse Bertenthal is an Associate Professor of Law at Wake Forest University. Her research uses transdisciplinary and integrative approaches to study how socio-environmental disparities become instantiated, normalized, and resisted through scientific, cultural, and legal discourses and practices. Her research aims to elucidate those processes and further explore how they impact interpretation and implementation of law and policy. That work contributes to broader investment in community engagement and advocacy.

She is a Member-Scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform, an affiliate with the Race, Inequality, and Policy Initiative, and collaborates with colleagues in social and natural sciences, public health, and humanities to lead climate justice initiatives at Wake Forest and in local communities. She received a J.D. from The University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine.

Research Focus

Bertenthal’s project will empirically document the access to justice issues that surface in environmental courts and tribunals across the United States. She will examine whose environmental rights matter; what kinds of legal and scientific expertise are most effective; and whether and how the innovations offered by specialized courts might create more opportunities for people to use the law to generate better socio-environmental outcomes for themselves and their communities. Her project will also generate a publicly accessible database to assist researchers, community members, and movement actors interested in evaluating and reforming courts to enhance access to environmental justice.