Faculty and Staff
The Indian Law Program draws on a panel of distinguished full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, and staff. Beyond their excellent teaching credentials, the faculty and staff have substantial experience in a variety of Indian law practice areas, which adds depth and creative energy to our program. And, strong student-faculty relationships are a hallmark of the cooperative learning environment at Lewis & Clark Law School.
J.D., LL.M. George Washington University Law School, is a leading scholar on the restoration of salmon runs. His 25 years of experience following restoration efforts on the Columbia River are reflected in his 2002 book, Sacrificing the Salmon. Mike joined the law school in 1978 after working for the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, the Center for Natural Areas, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A prolific scholar an a wide range of topics, including public land and water use, environmental impact assessment, and Indian treaty rights, he is the author of the leading water law treatise. Mike teaches property, public lands and resources law, the Pacific salmon seminar, and native natural resources law, for which he coauthored the nation’s first casebook. He has been a visiting professor in Canada, Australia, and Greece, where he was a Fulbright professor. Mike is a board member of WaterWatch of Oregon and American Rivers Northwest and the codirector of the law school’s Northwest Water Law and Policy Project. View Mike’s biography and bibliography.
J.D. Lewis & Clark Law School, directs the Academic Enhancement program. She earned an environmental law certificate and spent several years as a prosecutor in two Oregon counties before returning to direct the program that she participated in as a student. Minority students of all backgrounds are encouraged to contact J.B. to find out more about the program.
Stephen Dow Beckham
Professor Beckham is the Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr. Professor of History at Lewis & Clark College. He has been involved in the life of the Law School for many years, and was the lead instructor the Indian Law Summer Program’s field-based seminar. Educated at the University of Oregon, UCLA and Oxford University, Professor Beckham has taught college students for the past 38 years. He is a contributing author to Volumes 4, 7, and 12 of the Handbook of North American Indians (Smithsonian Institution), is the author of Requiem for a People (1971), The Indians of Western Oregon (1977), and numerous other books and monographs. He has served as an expert witness in Indian land claims, hydropower, and fishing rights litigation and has also worked as a witness in state assertions of its “navigation servitude.” Professor Beckham received the Honorary Alumnus Award from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2001.
A member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Associate Professor Robert Miller has been active for many years as a practitioner and teacher of Indian law. He is the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and sits as a judge for other tribes. He helped found and was on the executive committee of the Oregon State Bar Indian Law Section, and he was on the board of the National Indian Child Welfare Association from 1995 to 2004. In 1999 he joined the law school faculty where he teaches first-year civil procedure and upper-division courses in Indian law and cultural resources protection. He speaks regularly on topics such as cultural protection and sovereignty for Indian tribes, employment issues related to American Indians, issues regarding tribal governments, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Appointed by his tribe to the Circle of Tribal Advisors, he works with the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. Associate Professor Miller graduated magna cum laude from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1991. View Bob’s biography, bibliography, website, and his book blog.
Frank Pommersheim teaches at the University of South Dakota School of Law where he specializes in Indian law. Prior to joining the faculty in 1984, he lived and worked on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation for ten years. He currently serves on a number of tribal appellate courts throughout Indian country including Chief Justice for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court of Appeals and Associate Justice for the Rosebud Sioux Supreme Court.
Professor Pommersheim writes extensively in the field of Indian law. He is the author of Braid of Feathers (American Indian Law and Contemporary Tribal Life) and numerous scholarly articles. Frank is also a poet. His most recent book of poetry is East of the River: Poems Ancient and New. He has also received the University of South Dakota Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching and the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center Reconciliation Award. Frank is also a contributor to the 2005 edition of Felix Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law and received the 2006 John Wesley Jackson Award as the Outstanding Professor of Law. He recently completed a book entitled Broken Landscape: Indians, Indian Tribes, and the Constitution, which has just been published by Oxford University Press.
Alexander Tallchief Skibine
J.D. Northwestern University, visits from the University of Utah Law School to teach in the Indian Law Summer Program. Alexander served as an attorney for the Institute for the Development of the Interior, and deputy counsel for the congressional committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. He has taught at Utah since 1989. View Alexander’s profile on the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law website.
J.D. Yale, LL.M. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, visits from the University of Texas Law School to teach in the Indian Law Summer Program. A nationally recognized expert in Indian law who has taught and published on Indian law issues for many years, he developed his Indian jurisprudence course specifically for the summer program. Gerald spent several years working as an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department. He is the coauthor, with Lani Guinier, of The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy, a book recently nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. View Gerald’s profile on The University of Texas at Austin School of Law website.