Professor Hester teaches environmental law at the University of Houston Law Center, where he co-directs the Law Center’s Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Law Center and the University of Houston’s Center for Carbon Management in Energy.
He is a recognized expert on the innovative application of environmental laws to emerging technologies and unanticipated risks, including climate engineering, deep decarbonization (particularly in energy production), nanoscale materials and microplastics, and climate liability. In Fall 2019, Prof. Hester taught the first U.S. law school course on Climate Intervention Law, which focused on emerging climate engineering technologies and legal challenges. He also originated and teaches an innovative Environmental Practicum that matches students with multiple leading environmental attorneys to work on practical projects and to develop creative legal initiatives.
Professor Hester currently serves on the American Bar Association’s Climate Change Task Force, and he acted as one of the ABA’s delegates to the UN climate conferences in 2021 and 2022. During the summer of 2014, Prof. Hester served as the interim Director of the North America Commission on Environmental Cooperation's Submission on Environmental Matters Unit in Montreal, Canada. The Environmental Law Institute also named him as its Environmental Scholar in Residence for 2015.
Prof. Hester was inducted into the American College of Environmental Lawyers in 2015 (and named a Regent in 2018), elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2004, and named the Top Environmental Lawyer in Houston in 2011 by Best Lawyers of America. He was also elected to the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) in 2011 through 2014. Prof. Hester is the past chair of SEER’s Special Committee on Congressional Relations, its Climate Change and Sustainable Development Committee, and its Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee.
Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, Prof. Hester practiced for 25 years and served as a partner in Bracewell LLP for sixteen years. He led that firm's Houston environmental group.