Michael A. Livermore

  • Professor of Law
  • Director, Program in Law, Communities and the Environment (PLACE)

Michael A. Livermore joined the faculty in 2013 and serves as director of the Program in Law, Communities and the Environment (PLACE). He teaches courses on environmental law, regulation and legal technology. His research focuses on environmental law, cost-benefit analysis and the application of data science techniques to legal texts. He frequently collaborates on interdisciplinary projects with researchers in other academic fields, including economics, computer science, neurology and the humanities.

Livermore is the author of dozens of academic works, which have appeared in top law journals as well as peer-reviewed legal, scientific, and social science journals.

Livermore is a leading expert on the use of cost-benefit analysis to evaluate regulation. He is the co-author of Reviving Rationality: Saving Cost-Benefit Analysis for the Sake of the Environment and Our Health (Oxford University Press, 2020) and Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health (Oxford University Press, 2008) and co-editor of The Globalization of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Livermore is also one of the early scholars involved in a new research paradigm in legal scholarship that uses computational text analysis tools to study the law and legal institutions. He has several papers that deploy natural language processing techniques on legal materials, and, with collaborator Daniel N. Rockmore, edited Law as Data: Computation, Text, and the Future of Legal Analysis (Santa Fe Institute Press, 2019). Livermore hosts the Online Workshop on the Computational Analysis of Law, a global forum for scholars to present cutting-edge research in this area.

Prior to joining the faculty, Livermore was the founding executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, a think tank dedicated to improving the quality of government decision-making. In that capacity, he participated in dozens of regulatory proceedings on a diverse set of issues ranging from climate change to prison safety.

Livermore earned his J.D. magna cum laude from NYU Law, where he was a Furman Scholar, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and served as a managing editor of the Law Review. After law school, he spent a year as a fellow at NYU Law's Center on Environmental and Land Use Law before clerking for Judge Harry T. Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Livermore is a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.


  • J.D.
    New York University School of Law
  • B.A.
    University of Albany

Works in Progress


Law as Data: Computation, Text, & the Future of Legal Analysis (edited with Daniel N. Rockmore), Santa Fe Institute Press (2019).
The Globalization of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy  (edited with Richard L. Revesz), Oxford University Press (2013).


Environmental Law and Policy, Foundation Press (4 ed. 2019).

Book Chapters

EPA’s Nondiscretionary Duties to Act under Section 115 (with Cale Jaffe), in Combating Climate Change with Section 115 of the Clean Air Act: Law and Policy Rationales, Edward Elgar, 192–206 (2020).
Rule by Rules, in Computational Legal Studies: The Promise and Challenge of Data-Driven Research, Edward Elgar, 238–264 (2020).
Analyzing Public Comments (with Vladimir Eidelman & Brian Grom), in Law as Data: Computation, Text, & the Future of Legal Analysis, Santa Fe Institute Press, 233–271 (2019).
Distant Reading the Law (with Daniel N. Rockmore), in Law as Data: Computation, Text, & the Future of Legal Analysis, Santa Fe Institute Press, 3–19 (2019).
Regulating Regulation: Impact Assessment and Trade (with Jason Schwartz), in Megaregulation Contested: Global Economic Ordering After TPP, Oxford University Press, 477–498 (2019).
Style and Substance on the US Supreme Court (with Keith Carlson et al.), in Law as Data: Computation, Text, & the Future of Legal Analysis, Santa Fe Institute Press, 83–115 (2019).
The Law Search Turing Test (with Daniel N. Rockmore), in Law as Data: Computation, Text, & the Future of Legal Analysis, Santa Fe Institute Press, 443–452 (2019).
Economics and Environmental Law Scholarship (with Caroline Cecot), in Perspectives on Environmental Scholarship: Essays on Purpose, Shape and Direction, Cambridge University Press, 96–120 (2018).
Environmental Law and Economics (with Richard L. Revesz), in Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, 509–542 (2017).
Setting the Social Cost of Carbon, in Climate Change Law, Elgar, 32–42 (2016).
Can Executive Review Help Prevent Capture? (with Richard L. Revesz), in Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence and How to Limit It, Cambridge University Press, 420–450 (2014).
Analysis to Inform Public Discourse on Jobs and Regulation (with Jason A. Schwartz), in Does Regulation Kill Jobs?, University of Pennsylvania Press, 239–255 (2013).
The Shape of Distributional Analysis (with Jennifer S. Rosenberg), in The Globalization of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy , Oxford University Press, 69–84 (2013).

Articles & Reviews

Responding to Mass, Computer-Generated, and Malattributed Comments (with Steven J. Balla et al.), 74 Administrative Law Review 95–160 (2022).
Costs, Confusion, and Climate Change (with Justin Gundlach), 39 Yale Journal on Regulation 564–594 (2022).
Climate-Society Feedback Effects: Be Wary of Unidentified Connections (with Peter Howard), 15 International Review of Environmental & Resource Economics 33–93 (2021).
A Multinetwork and Machine Learning Examination of Structure and Content in the United States Code (with Keith Carlson, Faraz Dadgostari & Daniel N. Rockmore), 8 Frontiers in Physics 625241 (2021).
Modeling Law Search as Prediction (with Peter A. Beling et al.), 29 Artificial Intelligence & Law 3–34 (2021).
Law Search in the Age of the Algorithm (with Peter Beling et al.), 2020 Michigan State Law Review 1183 (2021).
Where Nature’s Rights Go Wrong (with Mauricio Guim), 107 Virginia Law Review 1347–1419 (2021).
Computational Methods in Legal Analysis (with Jens Frankenreiter), 16 Annual Review of Law & Social Science 39–57 (2020).
Introduction: Threats to the Role of Economics in Environmental Policymaking, 28 New York University Environmental Law Journal 49–59 (2020).
Polluting the EPA's Long Tradition of Economic Analysis, 70 Case Western Reserve Law Review 1063–1080 (2020).
The Problem of Data Bias in the Pool of Published U.S. Appellate Court Opinions (with Keith Carlson & Daniel N. Rockmore), 17 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 224–261 (2020).
Administrative Law in an Era of Partisan Volatility (with Daniel Richardson), 69 Emory Law Journal 1–73 (2019).
Sociopolitical Feedbacks and Climate Change (with Peter H. Howard), 34 Harvard Environmental Law Review 119–174 (2019).
Bending the Law: Geometric Tools for Quantifying Influence in the Multinetwork of Legal Opinions (with Reed Harder et al.), 26 Artificial Intelligence & Law 145–167 (2018).
Computationally Assisted Regulatory Participation (with Vladimir Eidelman & Brian Grom), 93 Notre Dame Law Review 977–1034 (2018).
Environmental Federalism in a Dark Time (with Denise A. Grab), 79 Ohio State Law Journal 667–684 (2018).
Centralizing Congressional Oversight (with Matthew S. Brooker), 32 Journal of Law & Politics 261–276 (2017).
Review of Bruff, Untrodden Ground (reviewing Harold H. Bruff, Untrodden Ground: How Presidents Interpret the Constitution) 79 Historian 568–569 (2017).
The One-In, Two-Out Executive Order Is a Zero (with Caroline Cecot), 166 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 1–16 (2017).
The Perils of Experimentation, 126 Yale Law Journal 636–708 (2017).
The Supreme Court and the Judicial Genre (with Allen B. Riddell & Daniel N. Rockmore), 59 Arizona Law Review 837–901 (2017).
A Quantitative Analysis of Writing Style on the U.S. Supreme Court (with Keith Carlson & Daniel N. Rockmore), 93 Washington University Law Review 1461–1510 (2016).
Rethinking Health Based Environmental Standards and Cost Benefit Analysis (with Richard L. Revesz), 46 Environmental Law Report 10674–10680 (2016).
Political Parties and Presidential Oversight, 67 Alabama Law Review 45–134 (2015).
Cost-Benefit Analysis and Agency Independence, 81 University of Chicago Law Review 609–688 (2014).
Rethinking Health Based Environmental Standards (with Richard L. Revesz), 89 NYU Journal of Law 1184–1267 (2014).
Tacking in Shifting Winds: A Short Response to Bubb and Pildes (with Quinn Curtis & Andrew Hayashi), 127 Harvard Law Review Forum 204–209 (2014).
Patience Is an Economic Virtue: Real Options, Natural Resources, and Offshore Oil, 84 University of Colorado Law Review 581–650 (2013).
Regional Variation, Holdouts, and Climate Treaty Negotiations (with J. Scott Holladay), 4 Journal of Cost-Benefit Analysis 131–157 (2013).
Regulatory Review, Capture, and Agency Inaction (with Richard L. Revesz), 101 Georgetown Law Journal 1337–1398 (2013).
The Meaning of Green Growth, 3 Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law 33–85 (2013).
A Brief Comment on "Humanizing Cost-Benefit Analysis", 2 European Journal of Risk Regulation 13–18 (2011).
Can Cost-Benefit Analysis of Environmental Policy Go Global?, 19 NYU Environmental Law Journal 146–193 (2011).
Retaking Rationality Two Years Later, 48 Houston Law Review 1–42 (2011).
Water Pollution and Regulatory Cooperation in China (with Hong Lan & Craig Wenner), 44 Cornell International Law Journal 349–384 (2011).
Environmental Law: The Future of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy (with Susan E. Dudley & Daryl L. Joseffer), 17 University of Baltimore Journal of Environmental Law 189–218 (2009).
Cause or Cure? Cost-Benefit Analysis and Regulatory Gridlock, 17 NYU Environmental Law Journal 107–133 (2008).
Conversation, Representation, and Allocation: Justice Breyer's Active Liberty (with D. Theodore Rave), 81 NYU Law Review 1505–1517 (2006).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Rankings Shift Could Force Big Changes at U.S. Law Schools (with Joshua Fischman), Bloomberg Law (August 19, 2021).
Bot-Generated Comments on Government Proposals Could be Useful Someday (with Bridget C.E. Dooling), Slate (June 21, 2021).
Rejecting the Trump Anticanon of Regulatory Mismanagement, The Regulatory Review (February 17, 2021).
France Kicks Data Scientists Out of Its Courts (with Daniel N. Rockmore), Slate (June 21, 2019).
Tainted Review, Regulatory Review (August 29, 2018).
Is the Supreme Court Acting Less Like a Court? (with Daniel N. Rockmore), Conversation (April 12, 2017).
What Is Nature Worth to You? (with Paul Glimcher), New York Times SR10 (August 9, 2015).
EPA’s Ozone Standard Is Insufficiently Stringent, Not Overly Expensive (with Richard L. Revesz), RegBlog (February 16, 2015).
Improve Economic Models of Climate Change (with Kenneth Arrow et al.), Nature 173–175 (April 10, 2014).
The Anti Capture Justification for Regulatory Review (with Richard L. Revesz), RegBlog (December 2, 2013).




Exploring ‘Reviving Rationality’

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