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Norman Williams Lecture

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The 18th Annual Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and The Law with Stacy Leeds

Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Stacy Leeds headshot

"Indigenous Nations and the Contours of #LandBack"

As Indigenous nations reclaim authority to regulate lands within their territories, what does this mean for land use planning, regulatory conflicts, jurisdictional determinations, and more? This lecture will explore the laws of Indigenous nations, the domestic laws of the United States, and trends in international law.

Thursday, April 28, 2022
5:00 - 6:00 PM

Chase Center, Vermont Law School and streaming live at:
This lecture is free and open to the public; masks required.

About the Speaker

Stacy Leeds is an experienced leader in law, higher education, governance, economic development and conflict resolution. 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 and the first Indigenous woman to lead a law school. During her tenure as dean (2011-2018), Arkansas Law achieved the highest-ever rankings: No. 1 Best Value in Legal Education (National Jurist 2014) and 33rd among public law schools (U.S. News 2014). Leeds then 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 is a former Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court and former Chair of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. She is currently a district court judge for Muscogee (Creek) Nation and has served as judge for many Indigenous nations.

Leeds serves as a founding board member of the Foundation for America’s Public Lands (Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of Interior). She serves as board president of Akiptan Inc., Vice President of American Indian Graduate Center’s board and on the founding board of directors for Kituwah LLC. She previously served on the National Commission on American Indian Trust Administration and Reform for the United States Department of Interior.

Leeds holds law degrees from University of Wisconsin (LL.M.) and University of Tulsa (J.D.), a business degree from University of Tennessee (M.B.A)., and an undergraduate degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis (B.A.).

A former athlete and life-long sports enthusiast, Leeds was inducted into the Muskogee Athletic Hall of Fame in her hometown in Oklahoma. She played varsity basketball and tennis at Washington University. In 2016, she completed a 950-mile journey as a Cherokee Nation Remember the Removal cyclist. She splits her time between Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation and downtown Phoenix, Arizona. She is the host of IndigenousWell - a blog about health, wellness (and politics).

About the Lecture Series

Norman Williams came to Vermont Law School in 1975, after a long and distinguished career in public service and teaching, particularly in the area of land use planning. Professor Williams played a key role in founding Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center. The Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and the Law series is a gift of Frances Yates, trustee of Vermont Law School, in memory of both Norman Williams and Anya '94 and Charles Yates '93.