Jay Wickersham FAIA

Direct line: 617.491.9815

Jay 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 Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and has served as the 2018 president of the Boston Society of Architects/AIA. As Assistant Environment Secretary for Massachusetts and director of the environmental impact review program, he oversaw the review of all major development projects statewide.

Jay represents leading architecture and other design firms around the United States and throughout the world in contract negotiations, regulatory compliance, corporate reorganizations, and design/construction disputes. In addition, his experience includes:

  • Environmental permitting counsel for Massport, the MBTA, and the first major land-based wind power project in Massachusetts.
  • Drafting Massachusetts regulations for Chapter 40R (smart growth zoning) and Chapter 40B (affordable housing development) and new zoning for the cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.
  • 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.

Jay has written and lectured widely on architecture, planning and the law. He is co-author of Henry Hobson Richardson: Drawings from the Collection of Houghton Library, Harvard University (Monacelli / Phaidon, forthcoming 2024).

Prior Professional Experience

Assistant Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Director of Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office. 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. Real estate lawyer, with practice in environmental and land use permitting, acquisitions, financing, leasing, design, and construction.

Architect and Urban Planner. Project architect and urban planner at Boston-area design firms.

Academic Appointments

Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Associate Professor in Practice / Lecturer (2000-2016).

Professional Registrations and Activities

Admitted to bar, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; registered architect, Massachusetts.

Current director/trustee: MASS Design Group (2015-present)

Fellow of the American Institute of Architects

2018 president of the Boston Society of Architects/AIA.

Past director/trustee: Architecture Boston magazine, Historic Boston, Inc., Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, The Boston Harbor Association.


Harvard Law School, J.D. 

Harvard Graduate School of Design, Master in Architecture 

Yale University, B.A.