Kirti Datla

Director of Strategic Legal Advocacy


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Kirti Datla is Earthjustice’s Director of Strategic Legal Advocacy. In that role, she leads Earthjustice’s efforts to anticipate and shape trends in judicial doctrine outside the environmental arena. This includes legal doctrines affecting justiciability, jurisdiction, the scope of federal power, and judicial review of agency actions.

Immediately prior to joining Earthjustice, Kirti worked in the Supreme Court and Appellate practice group at Hogan Lovells US LLP. There, she briefed and argued appeals before federal circuit courts and substantive motions before federal district courts. She also briefed cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Earlier in her career, Kirti served as an attorney-adviser in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, where her work focused on federal environmental and land statutes. There, she reviewed the legality of presidential orders; advised federal agencies on major questions of constitutional, statutory, and administrative law; and examined pending legislation for constitutional issues.

Kirti has served as a law clerk at all levels of the federal judiciary: for Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Judge Amul R. Thapar, then of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky (now of the Sixth Circuit). She received her B.A. in environmental engineering from Rice University and her law degree from the NYU School of Law.

Kirti is an appointed Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent federal agency dedicated to improving the federal administrative process. She serves on the Board of Law Clerks for Diversity, an organization that works to help persons from traditionally underrepresented groups apply for and obtain judicial clerkships. In 2021, Kirti was named a Rising Star by the South Asian Bar Association.

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The Latest from Kirti Datla

A child drinks from a water fountain.
May 26, 2023

What Does Sackett v. EPA Mean for Clean Water?

A lawyer analyzes the Supreme Court's ruling.
Kirti Datla, Earthjustice’s Director of Strategic Legal Advocacy, photographed in Washington, D.C.
September 27, 2022

The Supreme Court’s Rightward Turn Won’t Stop Us From Using the Law for Progress

Earthjustice’s director of strategic legal advocacy reflects on the courts' conservative shift and what's really at stake in Sackett v. EPA.

January 7, 2022

In the News: The Washington Post

2022 is a 'crucial year' for Biden's climate agenda, from Congress to the Supreme Court. Here's what to know.

“The fact that the court went out of its way to take up this challenge to EPA's authority means that it seems interested in limiting the Biden-Harris administration's ability to address climate and environmental issues."
November 9, 2021

In the News: Governing

How Might the COP26 Climate Summit Affect Local Government?

“They explained that it would be, basically, a waste of time to look at these older regulations because the electricity sector had already met the targets in the Obama-era regulation a decade ahead of the schedule in that regulation, even though it never even went into effect.”