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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; he has been elected 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. Current and recent work includes:
• Representing architectural and design firms around the United States and throughout the world in contract negotiations, regulatory compliance, corporate reorganizations, and design/construction disputes.
• 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, Somerville, and Newton.
• 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.
Jay 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. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Yale College. Jay taught for 15 years at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, as Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture.
Jay served as the 2018 President of the Boston Society of Architects/AIA.
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.
Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Associate Professor in Practice / Lecturer (2000-2016).
Professional Registrations and Activities:
Admitted to bar, Massachusetts; registered architect, Massachusetts.
Current director/trustee: MASS Design Group (2015-present)
Past director/trustee: Architecture Boston magazine, Historic Boston, Inc., Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, The Boston Harbor Association.
Harvard Law School, J.D. 1994.
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Master in Architecture 1983.
Yale University, B.A. 1978.