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.
Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks, Walter Eco-Hawk Visiting Professor
Cheryl Fairbanks is a lawyer, mediator, and tribal appellate justice who has worked in the area of Indian law for over 25 years. Currently she is a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, at the Southwest Indian Law Clinic practicing in federal, state and tribal jurisdictions.
Her experience includes working in the area of Indian Child Welfare tribal courts (specializing in peacemaking and appellate work). As a practioner in Indian law, she was instrumental in the development of a tribal alliance for peace circles including developing a curriculum for the implementation of tribal peacemaking and family conferencing using traditional concepts of justice.
Robert J. Miller’s areas of expertise are civil procedure, federal Indian law, American Indians and international law, American Indian economic development and Native American natural resources. An enrolled citizen of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, he is the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Grand Ronde Tribe and sits as a judge for other tribes. Professor Miller joined the faculty at the University Of Arizona Sandra Day O’Connor College Of Law in 2013, after several years on the Lewis & Clark faculty.
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.
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.