Amy Laura Cahn

Legal Director

Amy Laura Cahn (she/they) is the Legal Director for Taproot Earth. A community-based movement lawyer with over twenty-five years as an organizer and facilitator, Amy Laura collaborates on environmental, climate, land, and food justice to support self-determination and shifting power.

Amy Laura was a Visiting Professor and Director of the Environmental Justice Clinic at Vermont Law and Graduate School, recently testifying before the House Natural Resource Committee. Prior to VLGS, Amy Laura led the environmental justice and community lawyering practices at the Conservation Law Foundation and Public Interest Law Center, where she began as a Skadden Fellow and director of the Garden Justice Legal Initiative. Amy Laura has been recognized by the Philadelphia City Council for her “dedication to the empowerment of communities through community control of land, sustainable and equitable urban gardening and farming, and the pursuit of environmental justice.” In 2004, Amy Laura co-authored a community-based study that helped overturn New York City’s lead laws. She is co-founder of Lower Manhattan’s Bluestockings Bookstore and the Gulf South Allied Funders.

Amy Laura is an adjunct lecturer at Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. She is a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace National Board, the Penn Law Alumni Advisory Board for Inclusion & Engagement, Alternatives for Community and Environment’s Legal Advisory, the editorial board of journal Environmental Justice, and the Title VI Alliance. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Hunter College and J.D., magna cum laude, from Penn Law. Amy Laura is a queer white Ashkenazi Jewish femme living with her partner and pups on Mashpee Wampanoag territory in her home state of Massachusetts.