Join us.

We’re working to create a just society and preserve a healthy environment for future generations. Donate today to help.


Alyse Bertenthal

Assistant Professor of Law

Wake Forest University Law School

Alyse Bertenthal is an Assistant Professor of Law at Wake Forest University Law School. 

Professor Bertenthal’s scholarship focuses on environmental justice, regulatory and criminal enforcement, and the production and uses of evidence in science and law. Broadly trained as a lawyer and critical social scientist, she relies on empirical methods to investigate and explain how socio-environmental disparities become instantiated, normalized, and resisted through scientific, cultural, and legal discourses and practices. 

As an interdisciplinary scholar, Professor Bertenthal has published in law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, including Annual Review of Law & Social ScienceLaw & LiteratureLaw & PolicyLaw & Social InquiryTheoretical CriminologyWisconsin Law Review, and Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Council of Learned Societies, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.

Committed to collaboration across disciplines, Professor Bertenthal is a past chair of the American Association of Law Schools’ Law & Anthropology Section. At Wake Forest, she established a faculty seminar to explore environmental justice from intersecting perspectives, including communications, history, law, literature, political science, and religion. She is a Faculty Affiliate with the Wake Forest Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and with the Wake Forest Race, Inequality, and Policy Initiative. In 2022, Professor Bertenthal was appointed to the Legal Resource Task Group of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Organization of Scientific Area Committees and serves a member on the Wildlife Forensics Subcommittee. 

Prior to joining Wake Forest University, Professor Bertenthal was the Mysun Foundation Fellow in the University of California, Irvine Environmental Law Clinic. She was an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Criminal Law Reform Project and also practiced law with Keker, Van Nest & Peters in San Francisco. She was a law clerk to Judge Richard A. Paez on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Judge A. Howard Matz on the United States District Court for the central District of California. 

Professor Bertenthal earned a B.A. from Yale University, a J.D. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine.