Robert Anderson

  • Director, Native American Law Center
  • Professor of Law


Phone: (206) 685-2861

Robert Anderson


B.A. 1980, Bemidji State University J.D. 1983, University of Minnesota

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

American Indian Law — Property Law — Water Law

Recent Courses

LAW A 503 Property I
LAW A 525 Water Law
LAW A 529 Public Land Law
LAW A 565 American Indian Law

Robert Anderson is a Professor and Director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington School of Law, and is the Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School where he teaches annually. He teaches primarily in the areas of American Indian law, water law, natural resources law, and property law. He is a co-author and member of the Board of Editors of COHEN'S HANDBOOK OF FEDERAL INDIAN LAW (2005) and (2012). He is a co-author of Anderson, Berger, Frickey and Krakoff, AMERICAN INDIAN LAW: CASES AND COMMENTARY (3RD ED. 2015). He spent twelve years as a Staff Attorney for the Boulderbased Native American Rights Fund where he litigated major cases involving Native American sovereignty and natural resources. He was one of the two attorneys who opened NARF's Alaska office in 1984. From 1995-2001, he served as a political appointee in the Clinton Administration under Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, providing legal and policy advice on a wide variety of Indian law and natural resource issues. Bob was the co-chair of the Obama transition team for the Department of the Interior in 2008, and one of five members of the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform. He is a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe.

Peer Reviewed Journals & Law Reviews

Books or Treatises

Book Chapters

Book Reviews

Professional Publications

  • Robert Anderson, Remarks at a meeting of the National Congress of American Indians on the New Realism: The Next Generation of Scholarship in Federal Indian Law (Nov. 17, 2006), in 32 Am. Ind. L. Rev. 130-36 (2007-08).
  • Robert T. Anderson, Quantification of Indian Reserved Water Rights, 49 Rocky Mtn. Min. L. Inst. 9-1 to -22 (2003).
  • Robert T. Anderson, Blurring the Boundaries of Tribal and State Jurisdiction, Wash. St. B. News, Nov. 2002, at 24-30.
  • Robert T. Anderson, Supreme Court to Review Breach of Trust Decisions, Native Am. Resources Committee Newsl. (Am. B. Ass'n), Sept. 2002.
  • Robert Anderson, Tribal Jurisdiction over Nonmembers, Trends (Am. B. Ass'n Sec. Env't Energy & Resources), May/June 2001, at 4-5, 7.
  • Robert T. Anderson, Alaska Legislature Considers Innovative Instream Flow Law, 2 Rivers 255-61 (1991).

News Media

  • Speaker, "Alaska Native Fishing Rights at Risk, Regulating for the Seventh Generation", University of Connecticut School of Law (October 26, 2018)

  • Speaker, "The Culvert Case at the Supreme Court: Where Do We Go from Here?", Celebrate Water 2018, Center for Environmental Law & Policy (June 7, 2018)

  • Speaker, "Environment, Natural Resources, and American Indian Law", Presidential Power and the Law, Women's University Club of Seattle (February 7, 2018)

  • Speaker, "Struggles in Federal Indian Law: Alaska Native Rights and the Katie John Litigation", William C. Canby Lecture, Arizona State University (January 25, 2018)

  • Chariperson and Speaker, Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Indian Nations and the Law, Harvard Law School (November 17, 2017)

  • Conference Chair and Speaker, "Native American Graves Protection Act", 30th Annual Indian Law Symposium, University of Washington School of Law (September 1, 2017)

  • Speaker, "Fundamentals of Indian Water Rights", Conference on Settelment of Indian Reserved Water Rights Claims, Western States Council and Native American Rights Fund (August 8, 2017)

  • Keynote, 8th Annual Indian Law Conference, Spokane County Bar Association (February 24, 2017)

  • Keynote, "The Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy and the Limits of Federal Indian Law", 8th Annual Indian Law Conference, Spokane Bar Association (February 24, 2017)

  • Panelist, "Environmental and Natural Resource Law", Presidential Power in 2017, University of Washington School of Law and Town Hall (February 1, 2017)

  • Speaker, Environmental Law Bootcamp, U.S. Senate (January 25, 2017)

  • Speaker, "Indian Law and Public Land", Environmental Law Protection Strategies Meeting, Harvard Law School (December 1, 2016)

  • Moderator, "Federal Indian Law: Strategies in Litigation & Policy", The Indigenous Rights Movement: Tribal, Domestic & International Dimensions, Harvard Law School, Harvard University Native Americans Program, and Harvard Native American Law Students Association (October 14, 2016)

  • Speaker, "Water Knows No Borders: New Challenges in Balancing State, Federal and Tribal Water Law Interests", 38th Annual Conference, National Association of Women Judges (October 6, 2016)

  • Speaker, "Indian Water Rights: Opportunities and Challenges", New Directions in Environmental Law Conference, Yale Law School (February 27, 2016)