Nell Jessup Newton

Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law

Office: 2100 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574.631.6789
Email: Nell.Newton@nd.edu
Staff Assistant: Julie Shook
CV: View

Nell Jessup Newton became Notre Dame Law School’s 10th dean in July 2009. She has been a leader in legal education for seventeen years, having served on a number of committees examining legal education issues for the American Bar Association, the Association of American Law Schools, and the Law School Admission Council. Presently, she is the chair of the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education. She is a prominent scholar of Indian Law and the editor in chief of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, the only treatise on the subject.

Under her direction, Notre Dame increased the size of the Law School faculty through lateral and entry-level hires and built curricular strengths in business and international law as well as intellectual property. The Law School also launched a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, an Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic that has been certified by the U.S.P.T.O. for patent and trademark cases, and seven new programs of study that allow students to develop an expertise in special areas of law and policy.

Dean Newton oversaw the development of four new interdisciplinary programs that enrich the study of law by incorporating insights from other disciplines, a three-year JD/MBA dual degree, and a Master of Science in Patent Law. During her tenure the Law School also expanded its LLM program to include foreign lawyers who wish to study in South Bend as well as in London.

Internationally, Dean Newton worked with the Law School’s London Law Centre to open the school’s London program to students interested in spending a single semester in the UK as well as to those who are able to participate in full-year and summer programs. As part of an expansion of the international curriculum that includes a program of study in global law, the law school has also entered into student exchange programs in partnership with the Peking and Tsinghua University law schools in China, the Pontifical University of Chile, Bocconi University in Italy, Trinity School of Law in Dublin, and the University of Lucerne School of Law in Switzerland.

During her tenure, the Law School doubled externship offerings and developed externship programs based in the Law School’s facilities in Chicago and Washington, D.C. The programs enable Notre Dame students to live, work, and study in either Chicago or the nation’s capital. On the administrative side, Dean Newton has worked to expand the Career Development Office to help students better plan and achieve their career goals, and worked with the school’s Law Advisory Council to increase the school’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program by more than 500 percent while also increasing student fellowship awards.

An experienced professor of law, Dean Newton continues to teach first-year contracts whenever her schedule allows.

Courses Taught

Law 60105 - Contracts

Scholarship

Books

COHEN’S HANDBOOK OF FEDERAL INDIAN LAW (Nell Jessup Newton, editor-in-chief) (2005, 2012 eds. & Supp. 2015)

R. CLINTON, N. NEWTON, & M. PRICE, AMERICAN INDIAN LAW (3d ed. the Michie Company 1991 & Supp. 1994, 1996)

Selected Articles & Book Chapters

“Indian Claims for Reparations, Compensation, & Restitution in the United States Legal System,” in WHEN SORRY ISN’T ENOUGH (Roy Brooks ed., 1999)

Tribal Court Praxis: One Year in the Life of Twenty Tribal Courts, 22 AM. IND. L. REV. 285 (1998)

Memory & Misrepresentation: Representing Crazy Horse in Tribal Court, 27 CONN. L. REV. 1003 (1995)

Compensation, Reparations & Restitution: Indian Property Claims in the United States, 28 GA. L. REV. 453 (1994)

Let a Thousand Policy-Flowers Bloom, 46 ARK. L. REV. 25 (1993)

Indian Claims in the Courts of the Conqueror, 41 AM. U. L. REV. 753 (1992)

Status of Native American Tribal Indians Under United States Law, 1 YEARBOOK ON LAW & ANTHROPOLOGY 40 (Vienna 1986)

Federal Power over Indians: Its Sources, Scope, and Limitations, 132 U. PA. L. REV. 195 (1984)

Enforcing the Federal-Indian Trust Relationship After Mitchell, 31 CATH. U.L. REV. 635 (1982)

The Judicial Role in Fifth Amendment Takings of Indian Lands: An Analysis of the Sioux Nation Rule, 61 ORE. L. REV. 245 (1982)

At the Whim of the Sovereign: Aboriginal Title Reconsidered, 31 HASTINGS L.J. 1215 (1980)

Indian Tribal Trust Funds, 27 HASTINGS L.J. 519 (1975)

Areas of Expertise

  • American Indian law
  • Legal Education

In the News

Dean's Desk: Surveys give insight on graduates’ careers The Indiana Lawyer, October 7, 2015

The Dean's Fall 2015 Welcome Letter to Students (August 24, 2015)

Dean's Desk: Preparing for a more specialized profession The Indiana Lawyer, April 8, 2015

In Memoriam: Charles E. Rice (February 26, 2015)

The Dean's 2014 Year-End Letter to Alumni (December 8, 2014)

In Memoriam: Schierl/Ft. Howard Professor Emeritus Robert E. Rodes Jr. (November 26, 2014)

Dean's Desk: Distance learning comes of age at NDLS The Indiana Lawyer, September 10, 2014

The Dean's Fall 2014 Welcome Letter to Students (August 25, 2014)

Dean Nell Jessup Newton's Address to the Department of Classics and Program of Arabic Language and Culture on the occasion of the Senior Recognition Ceremony, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame (May 16, 2014)

The Dean's 2013 Year-End Letter to Alumni (December 13, 2013)

The Dean's Fall 2013 Welcome Letter to Students (Aug 28, 2013)

Dean's Desk: Dean Excited to Teach, Interact More with Students this Semester. The Indiana Lawyer, July 31, 2013.

Dean's Desk: Notre Dame Law in Chicago Shows Promise. The Indiana Lawyer, March 13, 2013.

Dean Newton Speaks at BYU Law School's Bruce C. Hafen Annual Distinguished Lecture Series on The Indian Trust: The Theory that Led to a $3.4 Billion Settlement

Dean's Desk: Law Students Benefit from Alumni's Professional Experience. The Indiana Lawyer, September 12, 2012.

Dean's Desk: Notre Dame Expands Course, Clinical Offerings. The Indiana Lawyer, March 14, 2012.