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A.B. magna cum laude, 1959, Harvard University
L.L.B., magna cum laude, 1965, Columbia Law School

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John J. Costonis

Judge Albert Tate and Rosemary Neal Hawkland Professor of Law
Chancellor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus


Chancellor Emeritus John Costonis, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, attended area public schools, Harvard University (A.B.) and Columbia Law School (L.L.B.). After service as a United States Army Counter-Intelligence officer, he attended the Universities of Pavia and Rome, Italy for graduate studies in philosophy. Chancellor Costonis has clerked or practiced with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling and the Chicago, Ill. law firm of Ross & Hardies. He has taught as a regular or visiting faculty member at the law schools of the University of Pennsylvania, Illinois, Berkeley and New York University, and served, successively, as the Vanderbilt Law School dean and the LSU Law Center chancellor (1998-June 2007). His practice, teaching, scholarship, and consulting have focused on environmental, property, land use, and historic preservation issues. He is a member of the Advisory Commission to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Courses Taught

Environmental Law, Historic Preservation, Land Use Law, Law of the Louisiana Coast, Property, Federal Public Land and Resources Law

Selected Publications

Law Review Articles

John J. Costonis, The BP MDL and Its Aftermath: Whither OPA’s Displacement Jurisprudence?, 93 Tulane L. Rev. 511 (2019).

John J. Costonis, Avenal v. State: Tailings and Damagings in Louisiana Law, 65 La. L. Rev. 241 (2005).

John J. Costonis, Law and Aesthetics: A Critique and a Reformulation of the Dilemmas, 80 Mich. L. Rev. 335 (1982).

John J. Costonis, Development Rights Transfer: An Exploratory Essay, 83 Yale L. J. 75 (1973).

John J. Costonis, The Chicago Plan: Incentive Zoning and the Preservation of Urban Landmarks, 85 Harv. L. Rev. 74 (1972).

John J. Costonis, New Orleans, Katrina and Kelo: American Cities in the Post-Kelo Era, 83 Tul. L. Rev. 395 (2008).


John J. Costonis, Narrative as Lawmaking: the Anti-Kelo Story, Planning & Environmental Law, (Jan. 2010)


John Costonis, Icons and Aliens: Law, Policy and Environmental Change (1989).

John Costonis, Space Adrift: Landmark Preservation and the Marketplace (1974).

John Costonis, Space Adrift: Landmark Preservation and the Marketplace (1973).

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, Rockefeller Conference Center (Bellagio, Italy)
  • Seminarian, Salzburg (Austria) Seminar Program
  • Fellow, Mayor's Institute on City Design; Fulbright Distinguished Visiting Scholar (Recife and Brasilia, Brazil)
  • Senior Invitational Fellow, East-West Center (Honolulu, Hawaii), Recipient, National Endowment of the Arts/Architecture Design Awards
  • Recipient, Chicago Chapter, American Institute of Architects for book, Space Adrift: Landmark Preservation and the Marketplace
  • Co-Recipient, 1974 American Institute of Appraisers Outstanding Article Award for The Costs of Preservation: The Chicago Plan
  • Selection by Editors of Land Use and Environmental Law Review for authorship in each of three years for publication in other journals of nationally distinguished land use articles
  • Co-Reporter, Uniform Act on Conservation Easements, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
  • Recipient of the Louisiana State Bar Association's Annual Outstanding Article in the Louisiana State Bar Association Journal for article, Avenal v. State: Takings and Damagings in Louisiana