October 26, 2011
Solicitor Hilary Tompkins to discuss ‘Pathways in Indian Law’ Nov. 10
First Native American solicitor of interior department to speak in Eugene
The University of Oregon School of Law will welcome the Solicitor of the Department of the Interior Hilary Tompkins to present the 2011 Rennard Strickland Lecture, “Pathways in Indian Law,” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in room 110 of the Knight Law Center.
Tompkins was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as solicitor of the Department of the Interior on June 17, 2009. She is the first Native American to be confirmed as solicitor of the department and only the second woman to serve in this role. She is the highest ranking Native American in the Obama Administration.
As solicitor, Tompkins is the chief general counsel for the Department of the Interior and represents the department in administrative and judicial litigation, negotiations and other contacts with Congress, federal agencies, states, tribes and the public. She oversees an office of more than 300 attorneys and 12 regional and field offices.
Before becoming solicitor, Tompkins, a member of the Navajo Nation, served as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law. From 2003 to 2008, she was deputy and chief counsel to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, whom she advised on legal and policy issues including legislation, judicial appointments, executive orders, constitutional authority, civil litigation, statutory interpretation and intergovernmental affairs. She also managed the legal staff in the governor’s office, supervised the general counsels in more than 20 state executive agencies and advised the governor on Native American affairs.
The lecture is presented by the law school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program and the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics to honor the legacy of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Rennard Strickland by examining native leadership and vision for environmental stewardship in the 21st century.
This event is free and open to the public.