Donald Thomas Hornstein

Print This Page (PDF) Aubrey L. Brooks Professor of Law


  • J.D. (Order of the Coif), University of Oregon (1981)
  • B.A. (magna cum laude, special distinction in history), University of California at Los Angeles (1972)

Donald Hornstein holds the Aubrey L. Brooks Chair at the Law School and is also a member of the University's Institute for the Environment and the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program in the College of Arts & Sciences.  In 2013, he was featured as one of 26 of the nation's best law teachers in a book published by the Harvard University Press, What the Best Law Teachers Do. In 2019, the UNC Board of Governors awarded Professor Hornstein the Award for Excellence in Teaching, given to one faculty member at UNC-Chapel Hill annually.  Professor Hornstein has won the Law School's McCall Award for Teaching Excellence a record 8 times and has won 3 additional University-wide teaching prizes. 

Recipient of a Fulbright award for research and teaching in East Africa, Professor Hornstein's environmental law scholarship has twice been recognized as among the annual Top 10 national articles of the year. Professor Hornstein's articles on risk regulation, in particular, have appeared in some of the nation's top law journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Duke Law Journal, and Yale Journal on Regulation . An expert on catastrophic risk insurance coverage, Professor Hornstein has been appointed by the State's Commissioner of Insurance to the Board of Directors of North Carolina's Wind Pool, a $400-million insurance facility insuring properties against catastrophic wind damage at the coast and along the Outer Banks.

At the Law School, Professor Hornstein teaches Administrative Law, The Law of Economic Regulation, and Insurance Law. For both the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and for Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment, Professor Hornstein teaches an undergraduate- and graduate course, Environmental Law and Policy.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Selected Publications

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  • Lessons from U.S. Coastal Wind Pools about Climate Finance and Politics, 43 B.C. ENVTL. AFF. L. REV. 345 (2016). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, BEPress, Document Link]
  • Insurance as Policy in the Water-Energy Nexus, 48 U. RICH. L. REV. 1033 (2014). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, Document Link (PDF)]
  • The Balkanization of CAT Property Insurance: Financing and Fragmentation in Storm Risks  11 RUTGERS J. L. & PUB. POL'Y 9 (Fall 2013). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, BEPress]
  • Resiliency, Adaptation, and the Upsides of Ex Post Lawmaking, 89 N.C. L. REV. 1549 (2011). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, BEPress]
  • The Environmental Role of Agriculture in an Era of Carbon Caps, 20 HEALTH MATRIX 145 (2010). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, BEPress]
  • Climate Systems and Legal Systems, in THE REPORT OF THE UNC CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITTEE (November, 2008).
  • The Road Also Taken: Lessons from Organic Agriculture for Market- and Risk-Based Regulation, 56 DUKE L.J. 1541 (2007). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, BEPress]
  • The Data Wars, Adaptive Management, and the Irony of 'Sound Science' in RESCUING SCIENCE FROM POLITICS: REGULATION AND THE DISTORTION OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (Cambridge University Press, 2006). [Q125 .R4178 2006]
  • Complexity Theory, Adaptation, and Administrative Law, 54 DUKE L.J. 913 (2005). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein, BEPress]
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