Robert Anderson Named Oneida Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard

Robert Anderson, associate professor of law at the University of Washington and Director of the University’s Native American Law Center, will be the Oneida Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School for the next five years.

“I am delighted that Bob has accepted our invitation,” said Dean Martha Minow. “He will bring so much to HLS: his strong knowledge of the law, his extensive and significant practice experience both in government and in the private sector, and his ability to create and run the Native American Law Center at the UW, which includes a leading clinical component.”

Nationally renowned for his expertise in Native American legal issues and for his excellence in teaching, Anderson has taught federal Indian law, advanced courses and seminars in Indian law, public land law, property law, and water law at the University of Washington since 2001. He will retain his position at the University of Washington while teaching at Harvard.

“It’s a tremendous honor for me to join the Harvard law faculty as a visiting professor,” said Anderson. “I am most pleased that Harvard Law School recognizes the importance of the study of federal Indian law and I look forward to being part of this great university.”

Anderson is a co-author and a member of the Executive Editorial Board of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, as well as a new casebook in the field, American Indian Law: Cases and Commentary. He has published a number of law review articles in the field, including most recently, a forthcoming article on water rights in the California Law Review; “Alaska Native Rights, Statehood and Unfinished Business,” 43 Tulsa Law Review 17 (2007); “Indian Water Rights and the Federal Trust Responsibility,” 46 Natural Resources Law Journal 399 (2006); and “Indian Water Rights: Litigation and Settlements,” 42 Tulsa Law Review 23 (2006).

An enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Anderson serves as Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and as an appellate judge in the Northwest Intertribal Court of Appeals. He holds a B.A. from Bemidji State University and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Does Supreme Court Nominee Kagan Have A Firm Grasp Of Indian Legal Issues?

Scholars have begun to question the Indian law credentials of Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama's nominee to the to the U.S. Supreme Court. Other than serving on the American Indian Empowerment Fund, which was established by the Oneida Nation, Kagan lacks a record on Indian law or Indian issues. Since joining the Obama administration as Solicitor General at the Department of Justice, she has written briefs in at least five Indian law cases. All of them went against tribal interests.

A particular fact of note regarding Kagan’s approach to Native legal issues is that she never filled a fully-endowed Indian law post at Harvard Law School, where she served as dean. The Oneida Nation of New York funded the The Oneida Indian Nation Professorship of Law with a $3 million donation. The position was created in 2003, under the condition that Harvard hire a full-time, tenured faculty member dedicated to Indian law. Kagan never hired a permanent, tenured faculty member dedicated to Indian law in her six years at the school.