Robert A. Williams, Jr.

Regents' Professor, E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program

Robert A. Williams, Jr. is the Regents' Professor, E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Chair of the University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. Professor Williams received his B.A. from Loyola College (1977) and his J.D. from Harvard Law School (1980). He was named the first Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (2003-2004), having previously served there as Bennet Boskey Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Law. He is the author of The American Indian in Western Legal Thought:  The Discourses of Conquest (1990), which received the Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Center Award as one of the outstanding books published in 1990 on the subject of prejudice in the United States. He has also written Linking Arms Together:  American Indian Treaty Visions of Law and Peace, 1600-1800 (1997) and Like a Loaded Weapon:  The Rehnquist Court, Indian Rights and the Legal History of Racism in America (2005). He is co-author of Federal Indian Law:  Cases and Materials (6th ed., with David Getches, Charles Wilkinson, and Matthew Fletcher, 2011). His latest book is Savage Anxieties:  The Invention of Western Civilization (Palgrave Macmillan 2012). The 2006 recipient of the University of Arizona Koffler Prize for Outstanding Accomplishments in Public Service, Professor Williams has received major grants and awards from the Soros Senior Justice Fellowship Program of the Open Society Institute, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the National Institute of Justice. He has been interviewed by Bill Moyers and quoted on the front page of the New York Times. He has represented tribal groups and members before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, the United States Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court of Canada. Professor Williams served as Chief Justice for the Court of Appeals, Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, and as Justice for the Court of Appeals and trial judge pro tem for the Tohono O'odham Nation. He was named one of 2011's "Heroes on the Hill" by Indian Country Today for his human rights advocacy work as Lead Counsel for the Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group of Canada before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He lives and works in Tucson, Arizona.

Curriculum Vitae

SSRN Published Papers

Representative Publications

  • Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law (7th ed. 2017) (co-author, with David H. Getches, Charles F. Wilkinson, Matthew L.M. Fletcher, & Kristen A. Carpenter).
  • Savage Anxieties:  The Invention of Western Civilization (2012).
  • Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law (6th ed. 2011) (co-author, with David H. Getches, Charles F. Wilkinson, & Matthew L.M. Fletcher).
  • Like a Loaded Weapon:  The Rehnquist Court, Indian Rights, and the Legal History of Racism in America (2005).
  • Linking Arms Together:  American Indian Treaty Visions of Law and Peace, 1600-1800 (1997).
  • The American Indian in Western Legal Thought:  The Discourses of Conquest  (1990).
  • Complete List of Publications

Education

  • J.D. Harvard Law School
    1980
    H.E.W. American Indian Fellowship Recipient (1977 - 1980); Research Assistant to Brandeis Professor of Law, Charles M. Haar
  • A.B. Loyola College, Baltimore
    1977
    Editor-in-Chief, College Newspaper, The Greyhound; Dean's List (six semesters); Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities (1977)

Admitted to Practice

  • Massachusetts

Work Experience

  • Regents' Professor, E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2018 - present
  • E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2017 - 2018
  • E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law; Faculty Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2016 - 2017
  • E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law; Faculty Co-chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
    James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
    1998 - 2016
  • Faculty Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program and Clinic
    James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
    1989 - 1998
  • Judge, pro tem, Tohono O'odham Indian Nation
    Tucson, Arizona
    1988 - present
  • Visiting Professor of Law and Bennet Boskey Visiting Lecturer of Law
    Harvard Law School
    Winter - Spring 2001
  • Acting Director, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy LL.M. Program
    James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona
    2000
  • Visiting Professor of Law and Bennet Boskey Visiting Lecturer of Law
    Harvard Law School
    Winter - Spring 2000
  • Visiting Professor of Law
    Harvard Law School
    Winter 1999
  • Chief Justice, Court of Appeals, Pascua Yaqui Indian Tribe
    Tucson, Arizona
    1998 - 2000
  • Cross Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law
    University of Washington School of Law
    1992 - 1993
  • Director, Office of Indian Programs
    University of Arizona
    1990 - 1992
  • Associate Justice, Court of Appeals, Pascua Yacqui Indian Tribe
    Tucson, Arizona
    1988 - 1997
  • Professor of Law and American Indian Studies
    University of Arizona College of Law
    1987 - 1998
  • Marks Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law
    University of Arizona College of Law
    Fall 1986
  • Associate Professor of Law
    University of Wisconsin Law School
    1986
  • Assistant Professor of Law
    University of Wisconsin Law School
    1984 - 1986
  • Assistant Professor of Law
    Rutgers Law School
    1981 - 1984
  • Legal Consultant
    Regional and Urban Planning Implementation, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
    1980 - 1981
  • Teaching Fellow
    Boston College Law School
    1980 - 1981

Organizations

  • Association of American Law Schools
    Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure
    1993 - 1995
    Executive Committee, Minority Rights Section
    1990 - 1993
    Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers
    1990 - 1991
    Chair, Native American Rights Section
    1988 - 1989
  • Tucson Metropolitan Urban Native American Affairs Commission
    1989 - 1991
  • Wisconsin Indian Lawyers Association
    President
    1985
  • Indian Rights Association, Philadelphia PA
    Vice-President
    1983 - 1984
    Board of Directors
    1981 - 1984

Public & Institutional Service

  • Pro bono work, counsel for Carrier Sekani Tribal Council of British Columbia, Canada (British Columbia Treaty Process)
    1999 (filed "Request For Precautionary Measures: Matter of Carrier Sekani People (Canada)" with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Washington, D.C.)
  • Principal Organizer, Conference on Future Directions for the Tribal Law and Policy Program, University of Arizona College of Law
    1998 (October 31)
  • Principal Organizer, Environmental Conflict Resolution in Indian Country, University of Arizona College of Law
    1997 (March)
  • Pro bono work, "Mayagna (Sumo) Community of Awas Tingni", Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Case No. 11.555
    1996? (submitted Amicus Curiae Brief as counsel for the National Congress of American Indians)
  • Chair, University of Arizona Search Committee, Associate Director, Community and Economic Development, American Indian Studies
    1995
  • Chair, University of Arizona Executive Committee, American Indian Studies
    1994 - 1995
  • University of Arizona Citizen's Advisory Forum: "Setting Goals for the Recruitment a
    1994
  • Catalina Valley Little League Baseball, Coach
    1994 - present
  • Consultant, New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, Sydney, Australia
    1993 - 1994 (land claims litigation)
  • Consultant, Sawridge Cree Band of Alberta
    1993 - present (aboriginal sovereignty claims litigation)
  • Foothills Futbol Club, Coach
    1993 - present
  • Catalina Homeowners Association, Board of Directors
    1993 - present
  • Consultant, Native Hawaiian Advisory Council
    1991 - present (water rights and self-determination issues)
  • University of Arizona Indian Advisory Committee
    1987 - present
  • Chair, University of Arizona Search Committee, Director, American Indian Graduate Center
    1992
  • Chair, University of Arizona Search Committee, Program Coordinator, American Indian Graduate Center
    1991
  • Member, University of Arizona Self-Study Committee, American Indian Studies Program, Graduate College
    1991
  • Chair, University of Arizona Search Committee, Director, American Indian Graduate Center
    1991
  • Principal Organizaer, Indigenous Claims Conference, University of Arizona College of Law
    1991 (November)
  • Counsel and Alternative Delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission for the National Indian Youth Council (U.N. NGO)
    1990 - 1993
  • Consultant, Tohono O'odham Indian Nation, Arizona
    1990 - 1992 (tribal land claims legal issues)
  • Consultant, Southwest Indian Agicultural Association
    1990 - 1992
  • University of Arizona President's Diversity Action Council
    1990 - 1992
  • University of Arizona Provost's Special Committee on Faculty Participation in University Governance
    1990 - 1992
  • University of Arizona Graduate College Centennial Award Committee
    1990?
  • Consultant, Passamaquoddy Indian Tribe, Maine
    1990 (tribal constitution drafting process)
  • Principal Organizer, Tribal Judges Conference and Workshop: Principles of Tribal Sovereignty and Jurisdiction, University of Arizona College of Law
    1990 (November)
  • Consultant, National Indian Youth Council, United Nations Non-Governmental Organization
    1989 - 1993
  • Counsel, Gila River Indian Community Land and Water Users Association
    1989 - 1990
  • University of Arizona Provost's Ad Hoc Committee on Indian Programs
    1989 - 1990
  • University of Arizona Native American Draft Program Change Request Committee
    1989 - 1990
  • University of Arizona Search Committee, Assistant Dean for Native American Student Affairs
    1989
  • University of Arizona American Indian Graduate Center Advisory Council
    1988 - 1992
  • North Central Association University of Arizona Decennial Accreditation Committee
    1988 - 1990
  • National Lecturer, SMH Bar Review Course, Boston, Massachusetts
    1982 - 1991

Awards

  • The 1996 Quinlan Lecture, Oklahoma City University School of Law
    4/9/1996
  • National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice Grant
    1996, 1995
  • Udall Center Faculty Grants Program
    1996, 1995
  • The Sixth Annual McDonald Lecture on Constitutional Studies, The University of Alberta Law School
    3/1/1994
  • Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Center Award for The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest
    1992
  • Ford Foundation Research Grant
    1992
  • The George E. Allen Chair of Law, The University of Richmond Law School
    4/1/1992
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Oklahoma School of Law Enrichment Program
    3/1/1992
  • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Oklahoma Scholar-Leadership Program, University of Oklahoma
    3/1/1992
  • Evans Bunker Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Washington School of Law
    11/1/1991
  • James Thomas Lecture, Yale University Law School
    3/1/1991
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award: Program on Peace and International Cooperation
    1991, 1989
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Award: Division of Research Programs
    1991, 1989
  • University of Arizona Graduate College Research Award
    1990, 1989
  • University of Arizona Office of Minority Student Affairs Outstanding Faculty Member Award
    1990, 1989
  • University of Arizona Outstanding Native American Faculty Award
    1989, 1988
  • American Council of Learned Societies/Ford Foundation Fellowship
    1986, 1985
  • Project Trochos: University of Wisconsin
    1986, 1985
  • University of Wisconsin Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship
    1985
  • University of Wisconsin Law School Minority Students Organization Teacher of the Year
    1985
  • Smongeski Fellowship, University of Wisconsin
    1985
  • Council for Instructional Development Grant
    1983
  • Rutgers University Research Council Award
    1982
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship Award
    1981
  • H.E.W American Indian Fellowship Recipient
    1980, 1979, 1978, 1977
  • Editorial Board, H-AMINDIAN, an electronic journal published on the Internet at http://www.asu.edu/clas/history/h-amindian/
  • Editorial Board, The International Journal of Indigenous Philosophy
  • International Advisory Board of the Review of Constitutional Studies