College of Law

The Legal Institute of the Great Lakes

The Legal Institute of the Great LakesThe Legal Institute of the Great Lakes (LIGL) is a multi-disciplinary research center within The University of Toledo College of Law. Founded in 1993, the LIGL supports research, maintains publications, and sponsors conferences on legal, economic, and social issues of importance to the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada.

The LIGL’s most recent research project is An Assessment of the Great Lakes States’ Implementation of the Water Management and Conservation Provisions of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. This October 2019 white paper provides a state-by-state assessment of the progress each of the eight Great Lakes states has made in implementing the terms of the 2008 interstate compact that ushered in a new era of water management and conservation for the region. While overall the assessment is positive, for each state the paper identifies areas in which implementation should be improved. This project was funded by a grant from The Joyce Foundation.

Other important topics of LIGL research and conferences have included harmful algae blooms, water quality, environmental audits, storage of spent nuclear fuel, market-based incentives to control air pollution, sustainable development, a comparative study of corporate laws of the Great Lakes states, regional trade agreements, competition in the electric utility industry, environmental justice, fisheries management, brownfield development, the public trust doctrine, international sales and distribution of products, protecting technology, contaminated sediments, alternative energy sources, beach access, climate change, wetlands, invasive species, and international and interstate agreements regarding management of Great Lakes water resources.

The LIGL sponsors annual Great Lakes Water Conferences each fall on water issues of importance to the Great Lakes region and the nation. 

The LIGL published the Toledo Journal of Great Lakes’ Law, Science & Policy, a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal, from 1998 to 2003. For several years the LIGL published LakeLinks, a regionally distributed newsletter which served as a forum for dialogue on issues of importance to the Great Lakes.



Evan Zoldan
Director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes and Professor of Law

Last Updated: 7/7/23