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Stacy Leeds

Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 9520

Stacy Leeds is an experienced leader in law, higher education, governance and economic development. She serves as Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University.

Leeds is Dean Emeritus, University of Arkansas School of Law (2011-2018) and the first Indigenous woman to lead a law school. She also served as the inaugural Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at University of Arkansas (2017-2020).

An educator and scholar of Indigenous law and policy, Leeds previously directed the Tribal Law & Government Center at the University of Kansas and Northern Plains Indian Law Center at the University of North Dakota. She began her career in legal education as a William H. Hastie Fellow at University of Wisconsin School of Law.  She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a recipient of the American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award.

Leeds was the first woman to serve as a Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court and is the former Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. She is currently a district court judge for Muscogee (Creek) Nation and an appellate judge for other Indigenous nations.

Leeds serves on the founding board of directors of Kituwah LLC for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, board president of Akiptan Inc., and as Vice President of American Indian Graduate Center board of directores. She previously served as a commissioner on the United States Department of Interior's National Commission on American Indian Trust Administration and Reform.


LL.M., University of Wisconsin, School of Law, 2000 

J.D., University of Tulsa, College of Law, 1997

M.B.A., University of Tennessee, Haslam College of Business, 2010

B.A., Washington University in St. Louis, College of Arts & Sciences, 1994



A Familiar Crossroads: McGirt v. Oklahoma and the Future of the Federal Indian Law Canon, 51 N.M. L. Rev. ___ (2021) (forthcoming with Dylan R. Hedden-Nicely)

A Wealth of Sovereign Choices: Tax Implications of McGirt v. Oklahoma and the Promise of Tribal Economic Development, 56 Tulsa L. Rev. ___ (2021) (forthcoming with Lonnie Beard in McGirt v. Oklahoma symposium issue)


Mastering American Indian Law 2nd Edition (with Angelique EagleWoman 2019)

Mastering American Indian Law (with Angelique EagleWoman 2013)


Commentary on Johnson v. M’Intosh as contributing author as advisory panel member to Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions (Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod and Elena Maria Marty-Nelson ed.)(Cambridge University Press forthcoming 2020)

Women and the Law Stories (Chapter 13:  A Tribal Court Domestic Violence Case: The Story of an Unknown Victim, an Unreported Decision, and an All Too Common Injustice)(Schneider & Wildman ed. 2011)

Treaties with American Indians: An Encyclopedia of Rights, Conflicts and Sovereignty (Fixico 2007)(contributing author, treaties essay)

Encyclopedia of United States Indian Policy and Law (Finkelman and Garrison 2005)(editorial advisory board and contributing author)

Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (Newton 3rd ed. 2005)(contributing author, property law sections)

A Political History of Native Americans (Grinde 2003)(contributing author, tribal land essay)


Beyond an Emergency Declaration: Tribal Governments and the Opioid Crisis67 Kan. L. Rev. 1013 (2019)

[Dis]Respecting the Role of Tribal Courts, 42 Hum. Rts. 20 (2017).

Whose Sovereignty?  Tribal Citizenship, Federal Indian Law, and Globalization2014 Arizona State L. Journal 89 (2014)(with Erin Shirl)

Coming Full Circle:  A Tribute to Professor Jim Jones, 2013 Wisconsin Law Review 733 (2013)

Resistance, Resilience, and Reconciliation:  Reflections on Native American Women and the Law (34 Thomas Jefferson L. Rev. 303 (2012))(with Elizabeth Mashie Gunsaulis)

Reassessing Concurrent Tribal-State-Federal Criminal Jurisdiction in Kansas (59 Kansas Law Review 949 (2011))(with John Francis, Aliza Organick and Jelani Jefferson Exum)

Defeat or Mixed Blessing: Tribal Sovereignty and the State of Sequoyah (Tulsa Law Review 2007)

Moving Toward Exclusive Tribal Autonomy Over Lands and Natural Resources (Natural Resources Journal 2006)

By Eminent Domain or Some Other Name: A Tribal Perspective on Taking Land (Tulsa Law Review 2005)

Tribal Court Stature and the Protection of Indian Women (American Bar Association Perspectives, Spring 2005) 

Borrowing from Blackacre: Expanding Tribal Land Bases Through the Creation of Future Interests and Joint Tenancies (North Dakota Law Review, 2004)

The More Things Stay the Same: Waiting on Indian Law's Brown v. Board of Education (Tulsa Law Review 2002)

The Burning of Blackacre: A Step Toward Reclaiming Tribal Property Law (Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 2001)

Cross-Jurisdictional Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments: A Tribal Court Perspective (North Dakota Law Review 2000)

Southern Ute Indian Tribe v. Amoco Production Company: Judicial Construction of Coalbed Methane Gas Ownership (Energy Law Journal 1996)


Report of the Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to the United States Department of Interior (submitted to the Secretary of Interior December 10, 2013)(commissioner and co-author)

Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
LAW 704Federal Indian Law II
LAW 781Independent Study
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
LAW 632Federal Indian Law I
Honors / Awards: 

American Law Institute, Member, 2013-present (by member election)

American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2015- present (by member election)

American Bar Association, Spirit of Excellence Award, 2013

Cherokee National Statesmanship Award, 2014

Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship, 2008

Cherokee National Historical Society, Contemporary Achievement Award, 2013

Nat’l American Indian Court Judges’ Assoc., Inaugural Outstanding Service Award, 2013

National Leaders in Law School Diversity, The National Jurist, 2015

Association of American Law Schools, Clyde Ferguson, Jr. Award, 2006

Howard M. and Susan Immel Award for Teaching Excellence at University of Kansas, 2005

Higher Education Diversity Lifetime Achievement Award, NWA Dem. Black Caucus, 2017

Alumna of the Year, National Native American Law Student Association, 2003

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