Stacy Leeds has served as dean and professor of law at the University of Arkansas School of Law since 2001.
Dean Leeds came to Arkansas from the University of Kansas where she served as Interim Associate Dean, Professor of Law and Director of the Tribal Law and Government Center. While at KU, she received the annual teacher of the year recognition, the Howard M. and Susan Immel Award for Teaching Excellence. Prior to that, she taught at the University of North Dakota where she served as the Director of the Northern Plains Indian Law Center. She began her career in higher education at the University of Wisconsin where she was a William H. Hastie Fellow.
Among her many honors, Leeds is a 2013 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award, an elected member of the American Law Institute, and a former Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellow with a 2008-2009 affiliation to the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University.
Dean Leeds has a strong record of public service. From 2011-2013, she served on National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform. The Commission conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the Department’s management and administration of nearly $4 billion in American Indian trust assets and published recommendations for systematic reform. She is currently serving a three-year term as Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. In addition to being a former Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court, Leeds has served as judge for seven Indigenous nations and was the inaugural recipient of the National American Indian Court Judges Association’s Annual Outstanding Service Award. She is frequently tapped to serve as a mediator or arbitrator to resolve conflicts in government and higher education sectors.
At Arkansas, she teaches Property and American Indian Law and contributes to projects of the Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative.
As a scholar, she has published more than twenty articles, essays and book chapters including the new book Mastering American Indian Law, with Professor Angelique Townsend EagleWoman.
She received her master of laws degree from the University of Wisconsin, her juris doctor from the University of Tulsa, her master of business administration from the University of Tennessee and her bachelor of arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Leeds, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is currently the only American Indian law school dean.
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