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LAWCROSSING          THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH   LAW STAR                                             ...
LAWCROSSING          THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH   LAW STAR                                             ...
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Rennard Strickland: Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and former Dean of the University of Oregon School of Law

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Article By Jen Woods On Rennard Strickland Who Hated Law School So Much That He Decided To Become A Law Professor And Realized That As A Teacher He Could Make The Experience Better For Future Students.

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Rennard Strickland: Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and former Dean of the University of Oregon School of Law

  1. 1. LAWCROSSING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH LAW STAR www.lawcrossing.com 1. 800.973.1177 Rennard Strickland: Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and former Dean of the University of Oregon School of Law [By Jen Woods] Rennard Strickland hated law school so much that he decided to become a law professor. He realized that, as a teacher, he could make the experience better for future students.“When I was in law school, I think it would be college. He earned his B.A. at Northeastern of American Indian Law and Policy and asafe to say there was no one who hated law State University, which was founded by the professor at the University of Oklahoma.school any more than I did. The thought that Cherokee tribe in the 19th century. The From 1995 to 1997, he served as Dean of theI would spend my entire life in an institution school currently has the largest enrollment Oklahoma City University College of Law, andlike law school was something that really of Native American students of any public from 1997 to 2002, he served as Dean of thedidn’t occur to me,” said Strickland, who is institution of higher education. University of Oregon School of Law.now the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law atthe University of Oregon School of Law. Strickland went on to earn his J.D. from Strickland said working with young people is the University of Virginia, his M.A. from the one of the highlights of his job. “I think at thisIt wasn’t the subject that Strickland disliked; University of Arkansas, and his S.J.D. from moment, at the beginning of the 21st century,it was the way courses were taught. Law the University of Virginia. we have better law students that we haveschool in the 1960s, according to Strickland, had any time in the previous 40 years that Iwas a “very sadistic system that was Immediately after law school, Strickland have been teaching,” he said, adding that it isdesigned to humiliate or, if not humiliate, at began his career as a graduate teaching rewarding knowing that he has helped shapeleast expose the weaknesses [of students] in fellow at the University of Arkansas School their views of the profession.a very public manner.” of Law. He has also taught at the University of West Florida, St. Mary’s University, the Indian law presents unique challenges. ForHowever, Strickland did not become University of Tulsa (where he also served as example, Strickland said he believes thatdisgruntled because of his experience. acting dean for one year), the University of many Americans have misconceptions aboutInstead, he saw an opportunity to make a Washington, and the University of Wisconsin. Native Americans. Just because a few tribesdifference in legal education. Today, he is In 1985, Strickland served as a professor have opened successful and prosperousconsidered a pioneer in introducing Indian and dean at the Southern Illinois University casinos, many people believe that everylaw into the university curriculum, and he School of Law. From 1990 to1995, he was Native American is making millions ofis the only person to have received both the director of the Center for the Study dollars, which simply is not true, he said.the Society of American Law Teachers(SALT) Award (1979) and the American Bar In order to help inform the public, StricklandAssociation’s Spirit of Excellence Award Active to Younge Lawyers has written and edited more than 35 books(1997). about Native American history and culture. “Remember that your first job is not your last job,” Strickland said. There are many He is often cited for his work as Editor-in-Strickland’s interest in Native American opportunities to work with tribes, state Chief of The Handbook of Federal Indian Law,culture and history comes as no surprise, agencies, and universities. “If you are really which was written by Felix S. Cohen. Theconsidering his heritage. His parents were interested in working with Indian people and book is highly regarded and considered byOsage and Cherokee Native Americans, and Indian law, the more kinds of experiences many to be the “Bible of Indian law.”he grew up in “Indian Country” (Muskogee, and the broader range of experiences youOK). have, the more you will ultimately contribute He is currently working on a book called Spirit to the development of Indian law and the Red. The book, expected to hit bookstores in advancement of the Indian people,” heStrickland was also exposed to Native three years, includes biographies of 50 key added.American culture throughout his years in Native American leaders.PAGE continued on back
  2. 2. LAWCROSSING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH LAW STAR www.lawcrossing.com 1. 800.973.1177Strickland’s work with Indian law goes Strickland has helped many tribes and ON THE NETfar beyond the classroom. He has helped museums resolve legal conflicts regardingresolve many significant Indian law cases. skeletal remains and sacred objects. He has University of Oregon School of LawFor instance, he served as the Chair and also served as an expert witness in several www.law.uoregon.eduArbitrator of the Osage Constitutional federal court cases, including the CreekCommission. During that time, he drafted Nation gaming case. Native American Rights Fundthe Osage National Constitution, which was www.narf.orgapproved by the votes of more than 65% of Strickland has been an active member ofthe tribal electorate. the American Bar Association since 1974, The Association of American Law Schools and he was President of the Association of www.aals.orgIn addition, the U.S. Senate Select Committee American Law Schools in 1994. He is the firston Indian Affairs appointed Strickland to person to have served as both President ofchair a team of three Indian law experts from the Association of American Law Schools andthe University of Wisconsin Law School. The Chair of the Law School Admission Council.team drafted a report on a fishing rightscontroversy that led to a peaceful resolution.PAGE

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