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History Maker
First Native American Woman
Law School Dean

             Stacy Leads
       University of Arkansas

Cherokee Nation citizen Stacy Leeds will take over as dean at the University of Arkansas School of Law July 1, making her the first Native American woman to serve as dean of a law school.

Leeds is currently working at the University of Kansas School of Law where she is the interim associate dean for academic affairs, a professor of law and director of the Tribal Law and Government Center.

“We are honored to welcome Dean Leeds to the University of Arkansas,” said G. David Gearhart, university chancellor, in a press release “As a nationally recognized scholar, judge and administrator, she is the ideal person to guide our law school to unprecedented heights.”

Leeds will take over for Cynthia Nance, who has served as dean since being appointed in 2006.

“I am truly honored to join the University of Arkansas family at this moment in the life of the law school,” Leeds said in the release. “Under Dean Nance’s leadership, the work of the faculty, staff and students has garnered national attention. I am excited to join the law school community at a time of such immeasurable possibilities for continued successes.”

Stacy Leeds also directs KU Law's Tribal Law and Government Center.  She teaches and writes in the areas of American Indian law, property, energy and natural resources, tribal governance and economic development. 

Professor Leeds holds law degrees from the University of Wisconsin (LL.M) and the University of Tulsa (J.D.).  She completed an undergraduate degree (B.A.) at Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree (M.B.A.) at the University of Tennessee.

Professor Leeds has served as a judge for many tribes including current appointments as the Chief District Court Judge for Prairie Band Potawatomi, Chief Justice for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and Chief Justice for the Kaw Nation Supreme Court.  She served as a Supreme Court Justice for the Cherokee Nation from 2002-2006.

A citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a native of Muskogee, she spends her down time at home near the Illinois River in rural NE Oklahoma.

Professor Leeds' CV is available here.