McGeorge School of Law

Jennifer Harder

Associate Professor of Lawyering Skills, Faculty Director for Online Learning
Jennifer Harder
Phone: 916.739.7189
Website: SSRN

University of California, Davis, BA
University of California, Davis School of Law, JD


Professor Harder joined the McGeorge faculty in 2015 after a decade of practice as an attorney and partner with Downey Brand LLP in Sacramento, and seven years of teaching water law and practice as an adjunct at University California, Davis School of Law and McGeorge School of Law. At Downey Brand, Jennifer represented local governments and private entities on water, environmental, and public agency issues. She represented clients at the State Water Resources Control Board and acted as lead counsel in transactions and litigation related to the California Environmental Quality Act, the federal Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, water financing, public trust, and constitutional water issues, among others. Prior to private practice, Jennifer served as a law clerk for the Alaska Supreme Court and for the Office of the Chief Counsel, California Department of Water Resources.

These experiences inform the design of Professor Harder's courses in water resources and environmental practice, which focus on policy implications of legal rules and skills needed for real world practice. Professor Harder also brings these experiences to her work in developing online graduate programming as McGeorge's Faculty Director for Online Learning. In 2018 Professor Harder was honored to receive the Hether C. McFarlane Teaching Innovation Award.

Professor Harder is co-author of Cases & Materials on Water Law, 9th ed. Her scholarship explores integration of classic legal principles into contemporary regulatory systems, with a focus on the challenges of local water institutions in meeting equally important objectives of providing a safe and reliable water supply and satisfying human and ecological needs for water. Professor Harder's recent papers explore the nature of property rights in groundwater, and the evolution of "water neutral" policies designed to limit the impact of new development. Professor Harder is also an active speaker and member of the water law community, a member of the Executive Committee for the Environmental Law Section of the California Lawyers Association, faculty advisor for the California Water Law Symposium and McGeorge's California Water Law Journal, and a graduate of the Water Education Foundation's Water Leaders program.


Environmental Practice
Statutes & Regulations
Water Resources Law

Representative Scholarship and Activities

Published Opinions

Turlock lrrigation District v. Zanker (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1047

Nacimiento Regional Water Management Committee v. Monterey County Water Resources Agency (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 961

Representative Scholarship

Demand Offsets: Water Neutral Programs in California, McGeorge Law Review, McGeorge School of Law, Spring 2015 

Weber, Harder, and Bearden, Cases & Materials on Water Law (9th Edition), West Publishing, American Casebook Series, Feb. 2014, Co-Author

The Robie Decision and The Future of California Water Law, California Water Law and Policy Reporter, May 2006, Co-Author

The Writing on the Wall: The Applicability of Proposition 218 to Charges for Water Service after Richmond v. Shasta Community Services District, California Water Law and Policy Reporter, March 2004