Texas Tech University

Water, Environmental Legal Expert Leading Texas Tech School of Law Center for Water Law and Policy

George Watson

January 12, 2021


Amy Hardberger is a 2005 Texas Tech law school graduate with extensive experience in balancing human needs with protecting natural resources.

Almost every step of Amy Hardberger's career, both before and since she earned her law degree, has involved the environment in some way, shape or form.

From her time putting her geology degrees to work for the U.S. Air Force through earning her juris doctorate from the School of Law at Texas Tech University, Hardberger has been heavily involved in issues involving natural resources. Since earning her law degree, she has doubled down on her enthusiasm toward issues involving water and the environment, becoming a respected expert during her time teaching at St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio.

Now, Hardberger brings that passion and expertise back to Texas Tech as the McCleskey Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Water Law and Policy in the School of Law.

Amy Hardberger
Amy Hardberger

"I am very excited to return to Texas Tech and be given the opportunity to expand my water work by adding a policy element to the amazing water research happening across campus departments," Hardberger said.

Hardberger graduated cum laude from the School of Law in 2005 and taught as a visiting professor in 2011.

While in law school, Hardberger was a member of the Texas Tech Law Review, had several articles published as a student author and completed on several national moot court teams. In 2015, she was honored with the Graduates of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award.

At St. Mary's University School of Law, she also served as the associate dean as well as the associate provost for academic operations.

In addition to her duties directing the Center for Water Law and Policy at Texas Tech, Hardberger also teaches courses in property law, water law, land use planning, international water law and environmental law.

As director for the Center for Water Law and Policy, Hardberger has developed specific strategic goals to help guide the center's work. These focus on using a multidisciplinary approach through partnerships with various Texas Tech departments as well as working with non-profits and state agencies to leverage the reputation of the law school and the center as a leader in water policy and planning. These collaborations will provide unique work opportunities for students interested in this area of the law.

"We want to utilize law, science and economics to solve water problems in ways that respect all use sectors while protecting the environment," Hardberger said.

Her academic writings cover everything from the nexus of energy and water to water pricing, the human right to water and Texas groundwater law.

Hardberger brings extensive experience in water and environmental law issues to the center. She served as an attorney in the Texas office of the Environmental Defense Fund, leading partnerships with cities and working with state agencies on municipal water conservation policies, energy-water issues and sustainable water planning. These issues were covered in a blog on Texas water policy she co-created.

A registered geoscientist in Texas, Hardberger worked as an environmental consultant, project manager and geologist for Universe Technologies at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio.

She clerked for U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice in the Eastern District of Texas. She earned her bachelor's degree in geology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and her master's degree in geology from the University of Texas-San Antonio.

Hardberger currently serves on the board of trustees for the San Antonio Water System, and, since 2013, has been a member of the Capital Improvements Advisory Committee for the City of San Antonio.

"We are very fortunate to welcome Professor Hardberger back to the Law School," said Jack Wade Nowlin, dean of the School of Law. "Her expertise and professional achievements are outstanding and will be a tremendous asset to our students and to the center. She has already put her stellar reputation to work cultivating new relationships and exciting conversations on behalf of the center. I look forward to watching her advance the center to new heights."