TU Law Alumna Named Dean at Arkansas School of Law

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On May 20, the University of Arkansas School of Law announced that 1997 TU College of Law graduate Stacy Leeds will be its new dean, starting July 1. She is the first Native American woman (she is Cherokee) to serve as a law school dean.

Leeds was previously Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law and Director of the Tribal Law and Government Center at the University of Kansas School of Law. Leeds has focused her teaching and extensive research on property, natural resources, and American Indian law.

She is a former justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court, the only woman and youngest person ever to serve in that capacity. She was Chief Justice for the Supreme Court for the Kaw Nation and Chief Justice for the Supreme Court for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.

"My interest in Indian law led me to TU," Leeds said. "Having the opportunity to study Indian law at a law school located within Indian country was the deciding factor, and I have strong affinity for TU’s Indian law program and the amazing professors who continue to lead it."

Leeds said she first considered a career in legal academia in her third year at the TU College of Law "primarily because of my time on the Energy Law Journal. It was at that point when I became energized about legal scholarship and research. It never occurred to me at the time that I would have a future in law school administration."

Scott Been