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Jay Wickersham Jay Wickersham specializes in design, construction, environmental and land use law. He has worked in all aspects of design and development as a private lawyer, a government regulator, an architect, and an urban planner. Jay is a registered architect with ten years of professional experience, and has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. As director of the Massachusetts environmental impact review program, he oversaw the review of all major public and private development projects statewide. Current and recent work includes:

• Representing architectural firms around the country and abroad in contract negotiations, regulatory compliance, corporate reorganizations, and design/construction disputes.

• General counsel to the Boston Society of Architects, with particular focus on legislative and regulatory matters affecting the profession.

• Environmental permitting counsel for the first major land-based wind power project in Massachusetts, and for new MBTA transit lines.

• Headed professional team successfully advocating for preservation of Ames Shovel Works in North Easton, MA, listed by National Trust as one of 11 most endangered historic sites in country.

• Drafting regulations and model zoning bylaw for Chapter 40R (smart growth zoning program) and Chapter 40B (affordable housing development).

Jay holds the position of Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he teaches courses in the law, ethics, and history of architectural practice. He has written and lectured widely on architecture, planning, and the law, and he is a contributing author to Rathkopf’s The Law of Zoning and Planning, Urban Sprawl: A Comprehensive Reference Guide, and Public Construction Law of the 50 States. Jay is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Yale College.

Prior Professional Experience:

Assistant Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Director of Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office (1998 – 2002). Oversaw environmental impact reviews of projects including Central Artery / Tunnel project; Logan Airport expansion; redevelopment of South Boston waterfront; and Nantucket Sound windfarm.

Hill & Barlow, Boston, MA (1994 – 98). Real estate lawyer, with practice in environmental and land use permitting, acquisitions, financing, leasing, and construction.

Architect and Urban Planner (1983 – 91). Project architect and urban planner at Boston-area design firms.

Academic Appointments:

Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Associate Professor in Practice (2012 – present); Lecturer (2000 – 2012).


Professional Registrations and Activities:

Admitted to bar, Massachusetts; registered architect, Massachusetts.

Director/trustee: MASS Design Group, Architecture Boston magazine, Historic Boston, Inc., Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance (2006 – 2010), Boston Society of Architects (2005 – 08), The Boston Harbor Association (2005 – 09).


Harvard Law School, J.D. 1994.
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Master in Architecture 1983.
Yale University, B.A. 1978.